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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2017 Sep;27(9):983-989. doi: 10.1111/sms.12710. Epub 2016 Jul 1.

Back pain and MRI changes in the thoraco-lumbar spine of young elite Mogul skiers.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedics, Institute of Clinical Sciences at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.
2
Radiology, Institute of Clinical Sciences at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.
3
Sportsmedicine Åre and Åre Ski High School, Åre, Sweden.
4
The Carl Todd Clinic, Corsham, UK.

Abstract

Athletes have a higher prevalence of LBP and spinal abnormalities on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) compared to non-athletes. The objective of this study was to investigate the amount of spinal MRI abnormalities and the lifetime prevalence of low back pain (LBP) in 16 young elite Mogul skiers compared to 28 non-athletes in the corresponding age in a cross-sectional design. LBP was assessed by a questionnaire consisting of a part regarding previous or present back pain, the Oswestry disability index, and the EuroQol questionnaire. MRI examinations from Th5 to sacrum were conducted to evaluate spinal pathologies. The Mogul skiers had significantly more MRI abnormalities (like disc degeneration) in mean (7.25 vs 3.78, P < 0.023) compared to the controls. No significant difference was seen regarding the lifetime LBP prevalence between the groups (50% vs 42%, P = 0.555). No correlation could be found between disc degeneration and back pain in this study. Young elite Mogul skiers, compared to an age-matched control group of non-athletes, have an increased risk of developing spinal abnormalities potentially due to the different high loads that they are subjected to in their sport. Future relationship between the MRI abnormalities and LBP cannot be verified by this study design.

KEYWORDS:

Low back pain; Magnetic resonance imaging; athletes; cross-sectional studies; intervertebral disc displacement; physical loading; sports; young adult

PMID:
27367529
DOI:
10.1111/sms.12710
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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