Return to play after lumbar spine conditions and surgeries

Jason C. Eck, Lee H. Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Low back pain in athletes can result from a wide variety of conditions. Adetailed history and physical examination supplemented by appropriate imaging studies can lead to an accurate diagnosis. The majority of cases will be self-limiting and resolve within 6 weeks regardless of treatment, but it is important to be able to identify conditions that require specific treatment. The decision of when an athlete can return to active competition is determined by the specific condition, associated symptoms, and treatment provided. Most athletes can return to full unrestricted play after sufficient resolution of pain and restoration of range of motion. Athletes undergoing spinal fusion are typically restricted from full-contact sports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-379
Number of pages13
JournalClinics in Sports Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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