Background and Purpose: Low back pain (LBP) is an epidemiological problem, particularly in Westernized countries, and is common among adolescents who participate in competitive sports. There are few comprehensive clinical trials addressing the prevalence of LBP in adolescent athletes and those in existence typically focus on only a few select sports. Physical therapy (PT) is shown to improve function and manage symptoms for adolescent athletes with muscle imbalance, hypermobility, and core weakness in outpatient rehabilitation, however there is a shortage of literature on young female pitchers with LBP. The purpose of this case report is to describe the PT management of an adolescent female pitcher with pain and functional deficits as a result of a repetitive motion contributing to the overuse of structures of the spine and hips.
Case Description: The patient is a 15 year-old female who demonstrates hip instability and hip and core weakness. As a result, she complains of LBP and left hip pain during her participation in cross country running, softball batting and pitching, and sitting for greater than 30 minutes. Interventions included therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, neuromuscular reeducation, electrical stimulation, and ice.
Outcomes: There was a decrease in pain and an increase in the patient’s functional abilities from initial evaluation to discharge. She recovered the ability to participate in her chosen athletics, yet continued to have discomfort sitting for long periods of time.
Discussion: The patient was discharged to participate in her softball tournament as planned after 7 weeks of care. Her outcomes are consistent with current research that PT improves function and decreases symptoms of athletes who have overuse injuries.
Friend, Paige, "Physical Therapy Management Of A Female Adolescent Softball Pitcher With Chronic Low Back And Hip Pain: A Case Report" (2014). Case Report Papers. 6.