5 Sports That Could Cause You To Say, "Oh, My Aching Back!"

The leading cause of disability in Americans under the age of 45 is back pain. Back injuries can be caused by strain and pressure placed wrongly on the 26 bones of the spinal column. Sometimes, low back pain is due to sports-related injuries and accidents. Here are 5 sports that can cause back pain.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riders often experience back pain. In fact, as many as 48% of the 108 riders in one study suffered from lower back pain. The study found that the type of saddle the rider used may have played a significant role in whether or not they experience back pain. It was suggested that a deep-seated saddle may provide more stability, comfort, cushioning and support for the rider than a traditional saddle. Ideally, you should use a Western saddle with a deep-seat to help reduce your risks of lower back pain. However, this is not possible if you participate in dressage or English riding.


With all the flips, stunts, and positioning cheerleaders do, there's no doubt they also run the risk of back injuries. Cara Moro, a student from Florida, suffered a spinal cord injury while performing as a cheerleader. She fell from her position as a flyer above her base of teammates, with her back landing directly onto her spotter's shoulder rather than in his arms. Cheerleaders also risk straining their backs when they lift their flyers above their heads. If you are a cheerleader, it is important to practice and perform with mats and spotters.


One of the jobs of the spinal column is to support all of your upper body weight… not the additional weight of the barbell and weights at each end. Weightlifting not only causes the spinal column to compress unnaturally, but it can also cause the muscles in the back and core to strain pull. Strong core and back muscles are important to support the spinal column during weightlifting. If you are a weightlifter, it is important to wear a weightlifting belt around your waist to help support your lower back and spinal column.


The constant jarring on your spinal column when each foot hits the ground while running can cause back pain. Additionally, the continuous up-and-down motion can cause your spinal column to compress, which can lead to back pain. Your core and back muscles can be strained by trying to keep your body upright with good posture as you run up and down hills. Any injuries you suffer to your ankles and knees may cause you to overcompensate with your core and back muscles, which could lead to back pain.


Golfing looks enjoyable and relaxing, but looks can be deceiving. The full swing of a golf club can put a lot of force on the spinal column. If you are not in complete control of the golf club throughout the swing, it could cause your back to tweak out of alignment. Also, carrying your golf bags, whether through the course or from the trunk of your car to the golf cart, may strain your back or cause your musculoskeletal alignment to get out of whack enough to cause back pain. If you golf regularly, invest in a golf bag that will distribute the weight of your clubs and accessories evenly across your back.

Work-related injuries and motor vehicle accidents aren't the only ways to cause back injuries. Participating in sports, especially these 5, may cause your back to ache. To avoid back pain and injuries while participating in sports, make sure you follow through with the right movements with a steady and controlled pace. If you do experience a twinge or pain in your back, consult with a chiropractor and/or a physical therapist.