Etiology of low back pain in elite boardsailors

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1992 Sep;24(9):964-6.


Seven elite boardsailors reporting nonradiating low back pain without leg pain during sailing volunteered for detailed examination. In these subjects, the onset of pain was limited to those occasions when sailing positions were held for a significant period of time, e.g., close hauled sailing or in light winds. No pain was described at any other time. The determination of possible antecedent factors was based on the results of clinical assessment, radiological evaluation, and computer tomography (CT) scanning. Apart from limited flexibility in some subjects, the clinical examination of these athletes was normal; CT changes in this group were limited to disc protrusions and bulges, and pars interarticularis defects. Despite the small number of subjects in the present report, it appears that the frequency of these problems exceeds that in the normal population. It may be possible to suggest that risk factors such as body position during prolonged sailing, particularly under light wind conditions without a harness, and limited flexibility may be associated with the radiological findings and may be implicated in the presence of low back pain, although further investigations appears warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / diagnostic imaging
  • Low Back Pain / etiology*
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Spine / diagnostic imaging
  • Sports*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed