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Physiotherapy for prevention of lower back injuries in wrestling
  1. E Dimitrova1,
  2. S Stanev2
  1. 1Department of Kinesitherapy, National Sports Academy, Sofia, Bulgaria
  2. 2Department of Wrestling, National Sports Academy, Sofia, Bulgaria


Introduction About 10% of all sport injuries in wrestling occur in lower back area.1 The purpose of this report is to summarise the incidence of lower back injuries in wrestling and the mechanisms involved, and to represent our experience in physiotherapy (PT) for prevention of these injuries.

Methods From a sample of 95 wrestlers (males), 11 lower back injuries were found (11.6%). Problems such as muscle and joint injuries and dysfunctions occur quite frequently. Treatment of dysfunctions begins with PT program, that emphasises analytical stretching2 and strengthening of the back and abdominal musculature. We allow a return to sport when the athlete has regained at least 70% of his viability and pain-free full range of motion.

Results Lower back injureis can be due to numerous factors: extensions, combined with twisting in take-downs (5 out of 11 wrestlers −45.5 %), extensions against resistance as in lifting an opponent off the mat (6 out of 11 wrestlers −54.5 %). Reduction in low back injuries was found as a result of a physiotherapy program. 8 out of 11 wrestlers who were treated from low back injuries returned to high-level competitions. In three cases the condition was not treated on time and it became chronic. As a result of our study, many changes have been made to the strength and conditioning training.

Conclusion In cases of low back injuries an early diagnosis is essential, so that treatment can be commenced as soon as possible. Preventive physiotherapy program is essential and should be included in every training program as an integral part of the warm-up and recovery.

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