Lumbar Injury and Your Athletic Patient

Lumbar Injury and Your Athletic Patient

It’s safe to say, no doubt, that as a spine specialist you’ve viewed a lumbar injury or two…or two hundred…or two thousand, if you’ve been in practice for a long time. Maybe you specialize in treating athletes or perhaps dancers or gymnasts. All those categories of individuals are prone to lumbar injuries, from strains and sprains to – unfortunately – much more serious injuries that could be life-changing.

Though the lumbar spine is sturdy and offers great support to the human body, the things we do to our body often make us prone to injury. Athletes, especially, tax their body to its limit in many instances. And as adults remain more and more active through their later years, it’s likely that you’ll continue to see more lumbar injury due to participation in sports. Whether your patient is a pro, a recreational athlete, a workout fanatic, a so-called “weekend warrior”, or just someone who enjoys a little competition now and then, they can get themselves into trouble when putting extra strain on their spine, especially as they age.

Low back injuries are quite common among professional and amateur athletes and are the reason most people miss work. These problems often include bruising, overstretching, or mild tissue tears. Minor fractures may also occur, or the patient may be burdened with something a bit more serious such as disc herniation or spondylolysis.

Thankfully, lumbar spine injuries usually do not affect the spinal cord itself, so healing is certainly probable and pain may be mild in many cases. Nonetheless, your athletic patient will be seeking relief and looking forward to getting back on the baseball field, the tennis court, the ice rink, the gym, or wherever else they enjoy staying active.

In some instances, cessation of certain activities may be a reality and, chances are, your patient won’t be very happy about that suggestion. However, it’s your job to demonstrate what will occur if they disregard your recommendation. While you’ll likely recommend that they keep moving in some manner, they need to understand how further injury can incur if they do not curb their activity as per your suggestion.

You can do that by demonstrating how the spine works, what caused their injury, how their injury is affecting their lumbar area, and what must be done in order to heal and become active again. For this, you need to have your best tools on hand as avid athletes will need plenty of convincing in regards to that temporary cessation you’ve suggested.

Why not use the ultimate spine model to demonstrate to your patients the important of following your directions? That model is the Professional LxH by Dynamic Disc Designs (ddd). This lumbar model, crafted by a chiropractor and designed specifically for patient education, includes a flexible and totally dynamic herniating (or prolapse) nucleus pulposus. This is achieved through a realistic 2-part intervertebral disc with 6 degrees of freedom. In other words, this amazing lumbar model looks, feels, and operates like the real thing.


By using this with your athletes – amateur to professional – you’ll create that spark of understanding that convinces them to take your advice seriously. Furthermore, when they understand their problem, they’ll be more likely to follow through with your overall recommended treatment plan and, with their success, they’ll become a dedicated patient and will likely refer you to others like themselves.

Compared to generic ‘static’ models, your ‘dynamic’ models help us explain the intricate details of each client’s condition in an easier to understand concept that can be catered or customized to each individual client’s needs, whether technical or basic. Your models have re-established the vital importance of the doctor / client communication relationship, dramatically bridging the gap for both to have a common understanding of the condition, the process ahead, and the targeted outcomes towards health and wellness for life.”
– Barry Kluner, DC

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