Post by missouridad on Oct 24, 2006 22:37:41 GMT -6
My son, a HS junior baseball player, is experiencing lower back pain while swinging the bat. The pain is just above the pelvis and about an inch or two to the left of the spine. The pain started maybe 4 weeks ago.
After doing a little research, it's my best guess that it may be a strained pelvic ligament (I have no idea what the appropriate name is) that attaches the spine to the pelvis. I'm sure it could be something else like a nerve but based on what he has told me it sounds like a muscle or ligament problem. He doesn't feel any pain at all except when he swings or twists to stretch the area. I'm guessing it's not a tear because he says the pain is not severe unless he swings the bat 10 or 20 times.
He has a doctor appointment next week. What should we ask the doctor? Should we ask for an x-ray, MRI or both? Any suggestions as to what the problem might be so I can discuss it with the doctor?
Of course his question is how long does he have to stop the baseball workouts to give this time to heal?
Post by Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D. on Oct 26, 2006 12:04:41 GMT -6
missouridad, Let me ask you a few questions about your son's situation: 1. What else is he doing other than swinging a normal weighted bat? 2. Is he using weighted bats? 3. Is he doing some other strength /conditioning exercises? Is he doing them properly in your opinion? 4. Has he changed his batting stance? 5. Has he been hitting off a tee excessively or has he been taking too many rounds at the batting cage?
Post by missouridad on Oct 26, 2006 13:07:34 GMT -6
Thank you Dr. Fleisig.
1. What else is he doing other than swinging a normal weighted bat? He uses a slightly heavier wood bat (maybe 34 or 35 oz.) for batting practice. He has a 30 oz. aluminum bat for games.
2. Is he using weighted bats? No.
3. Is he doing some other strength /conditioning exercises? Is he doing them properly in your opinion? He has worked with and continues to work with a personal trainer 1 or 2 times per week for the past 10 months. The trainer works on both strengthening and conditioning. He has shown my son the proper way to lift and I believe he adheres to it very well. While the trainer has worked with him to strengthen both lower and upper body, he told me they have not put a lot of focus on the lower back but they do work on it. The trainer told me yesterday he would work on strengthening the lower back more regularly.
4. Has he changed his batting stance? No. He's worked with the same hitting instructor for 2 years and have made no stance adjustments for over a year.
5. Has he been hitting off a tee excessively or has he been taking too many rounds at the batting cage? This may be the root of everything. Yes. he has been going to a local college indoor hitting facility (by himself mostly) for a couple months. I can't be sure, of course, but I remember him telling me he went to the cage several weeks ago and hit in the cage for 30 minutes straight. That's probably somewhere between 100 and 150 swings. I told him at the time that was way too much but he shook it off as 16 yo kids tend to do. It wasn't long after that that the back pain showed up.
Let me add one other thing that might help. Once and a while son tends to fall back into a two piece swing meaning his upperbody rotation lags a little too far behind his hip rotation. He has corrected this swing flaw (thanks to his hitting coach) but it does show back up once and a while.
Post by Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D. on Oct 27, 2006 8:34:58 GMT -6
I spoke with some trusted physical medicine MDs, and here's what I got:
This may be a case of "if it hurts, don't do it." I would have him cut out the cage work, limiting his BP to live pitching on game days. Maintain the strength /conditioning program since it does not appear to be generating symptoms. If he's just on the cusp of a stress reaction, he should start feeling better by just "relative rest". If the back pain does not resolve within a week of backing off I think he should see someone to formally evaluate the back given my concern about potential spondylolysis.
missouridad, Probably a bit too late but I'd recommend the doctor check for spondylolysis. Normally they'll take an x-ray and if that is normal or inconclusive they'll then perform a bone scan, possibly followed by a CT scan or they'll have an MRI done.
If it is spondylolysis then the last thing he wants to do is back strengthening exercises that involve extending (arching) his back.
An acute spondylolsis could result in anywhere from 4 weeks to 4 months or more of inactivity. A long standing spondylolysis would require resting it until the pain went away in typically 2 to 6 weeks.
About half the time when a young athlete goes to the doctor with lower back pain it turns out to be spondylolysis.
Post by missouridad on Dec 12, 2006 22:52:44 GMT -6
Son laid off baseball workouts for a couple weeks and then light workouts for two weeks. Pain decreased a bit but was still present when swinging the bat. Decided to try the chiropractor before we took the next step to see a sports medicine doc. and get an MRI.
Son went to the chiropractor 4 times. The pain disappeared almost immediately after the first visit. He feels nothing now and has returned to full aggressive workouts for the last week without pain. I don't know the terminology but in lay terms the Chrioprator said it appears to have been tightening of the space between the pelvis and lower spine structure possibly due to weightlifting. To his credit, he did suggest that if any pain comes back at all it would be best to get an MRI.
We'll keep an eye on it and hope for a pain free winter.
It’s always better to opt for chiropractic treatment in case of sport injuries as they treat these kind of injuries in natural ways. Last time, when I got injured while playing football, took treatment from one of top chiropractor in Mississauga. He not only treated me well but also gave tips on how to avoid it in future.