Back Pain

Updated 01 March 2017


“Slipping a disk” or spondylolisthesis is the forward slipping of vertebrae usually involving the fifth or bottom lumbar vertebrae. It is most prevalent in cricketers under the age of 25 and especially affects bowlers and fielders (any position that requires a lot of throwing puts strain on the back). Spondylolisthesis is caused by a defective or fractured vertebral arch.



  • A dull ache in the lower back, especially after exercise
  • A pain that extends from the back down one or both legs
  • X-rays can confirm spondylolisthesis

What can be done?

  • Rest until the pain subsides
  • See a sports injury specialist
  • You may be able to continue training but avoid all back-related exercises
  • Wear a back support, kidney belt or heat retainer
  • Do back-strengthening exercises
  • An operation, only if necessary

Other related articles:
Painkillers (Paracetamol)
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
COX-2 specific inhibitors
Different Steroids
Cortisone injections


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Susan qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1990, and completed her master’s degree in Physiotherapy in 2013 at the University of Pretoria. She has a special interest in human biomechanics, as well as the interaction between domestic and work-related ergonomics.

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