More than 410,000 female athletes participate in interscholastic volleyball each year. Most female athletes who play volleyball combined with a weight training program have complained about lower back pain. Most injuries are just the tightening of the muscle or ligament strain, but many can become stress fractures called spondylosis (Advanced, 2019). But, what is causing this pain? Is it training? Or weight lifting? Or is it just the players being uninformed about how to keep care of their bodies and when to rest? Female athletes need specific training and should be informed on how to maintain a healthy body and what to do if injured.
Spondylosis can be more of a risk if the player feels pain down the legs or numbness. This mostly happens when the back is hyperextended (Orthopaedics). Leaning forward time after time to dig balls and rotating each swing and serve is to blame for this. Doing this, the back becomes dominant and the abs and core become helpless and weak. This can also lead to pinching between the vertebrae. When this happens the muscle is constantly flexed and is never able to relax even when not in motion, causing it to become upset and irritated (Valentine, 2019).
Some coaches may be to blame for this. Improper warm-up and cool-down can cause the muscles to become unsettled. Many athletes believe these are a waste of time, but they will actually help keep them healthy in the long run and maintain good physical condition. Coaches should also know that The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends avoiding powerlifting until they reach skeletal and physical maturity.
Safe techniques are difficult to maintain with power lifts, especially being an adolescent because the vertebrae are fully grown yet and still very weak (Mannie 2000). Although lifting is beneficial, the weight should be dropped in order to maintain health throughout the young athletes’ life. If the athletes’ pain is affecting their daily routines, they should go to the doctor and stop physical activity, especially heavy weight lifting. Athletes should absolutely make a visit to the doctor if they ever feel any numbness fever, sudden weight loss, or inability to sleep (Freedson, 2000).
There are some ways to treat lower back pain, but it all depends on that specific athlete. Core strengthening and body mechanics strengthening can help. Another simple way is just postural training. For example, not slouching and sitting straight up. Another super simple one is emptying out that 30-pound book bag that athletes carry around all day. (Valentine 2019). Doing these simple fixes may make that athlete feel much better and bring back their top performance.