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Cloe Forner

Proud Parent
Nov 30, 2021
41
44
So my DD has had very bad lower back pain the last few months. We aren't really sure how she hurt it but it is not going away and its been months. Yesterday she was asked to do a back walkover and she couldn't even do that. Sometimes she says its fine and she will just push through, but other times (like yesterday) she just can't bend it at all. I am not sure what it is and I don't know what we should do about it...
If you have any suggestions, please share.
Thank you!
 

Cloe Forner

Proud Parent
Nov 30, 2021
41
44
Please, please, PLEASE get it checked out if you haven't already!

Immediately too! back pain isn't something to mess with, coming from a longtime gymnast.
Is it really that bad? Did you have this to and if so what did yours turn out to be?
We were thinking about going to a chiropractor, but we haven't yet.
 

NutterButter

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jan 24, 2013
879
Is it really that bad? Did you have this to and if so what did yours turn out to be?
We were thinking about going to a chiropractor, but we haven't yet.

Yes! It really could be that bad. Spinal fractures in L3-L5 are common in gymnasts if they don't have the proper conditioning regimen (and even if they do, some just develop stress fractures). She needs to stop anything that causes pain NOW. Please don't mess around with this.

Don't go to a chriropractor. See a sports ortho. Push for an MRI if they offer it (and in my experiences, I've always been offered it).

My DD had the same symptoms and had 3 stress fractures and 1 bulging disc. If stress fractures don't get treated, they turn into another condition that can cause life-long back pain. You don't want this for your daughter.

The treatment for my DD was no gymastics, no PE, no running, no bike riding, no carrying a backpack for a couple of months then several months of PT. It took almost a year before she was back with her skills 100%.

PLEASE get this looked at ASAP.
 

ProudGymnast

Gymnast
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
125
Is it really that bad? Did you have this to and if so what did yours turn out to be?
We were thinking about going to a chiropractor, but we haven't yet.
If she can't bend it, that is not good, and since its been going on for a few months now that's a red flag.

A little while ago I hurt my back, every time I would round it then straighten it it hurt, and turns out it was muscle strain. I got it checked out right away, doctor said if I would have let it go on it could've led to other issues due to compensation. I always recommend getting checked out for spine pain for that reason, and because its the epicenter of your body and can cause major issues if all is not well.

And I actually go to a great, well trusted chiropractor, but its for preventative care of your neck and spine, not treatment for pain. I have a hard time recommending chiropractors though just because its hard to weed the good ones out although I've found one where its a lot more than just cracking my back (stretching, home care, back workouts). All that said, I tentatively recommend chiropractic care, but further along the healing process. Now your best course is MRI if offered and sports ortho to get down to the root of the problem.
 

GymAir

Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Aug 28, 2018
90
Back pain should always be addressed. Always. Never let her push through like that - it can be very damaging to her in the long-term. You really do need an MRI now to see what’s going on.

Edited to add: And while I sometimes see a chiropractor, your daughter SHOULD NOT. It would be very dangerous to adjust her spine since she could have any number of problems including fractures/bone chips/bulging discs.
 

Aussie_coach

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Gymnast
Club Owner / Manager
Jan 4, 2008
3,935
The back is one part of the body, you don’t just wait and see if it feels better. If my gymnasts tell me their back hurts, we stop what we are doing immediately.

In many years of coaching, my experience with back pain is that in most cases if it’s dealt with early it can be fully healed. If you leave it, it takes years to see consistent improvement. It often pushes the kids out of the sport and can be lifelong.

So I would not allow her to attend anymore gymnastics until you have seen a physio and had an MRI.

In the majority of cases if back pain we have found that everyone initially suspects it happened at gymnastics, but most of the time it hasn’t been the case.

Most of the time it’s caused by postural problems. Which are made worse by things like sitting at a desk all day at school with bad posture, heavy school bags, spending time in devices etc. gymnastics is just the place they feel it, because it’s where they use their back the most.

So treating the injury is only ever part of the solution. Fixing the posture is essential.

We have had kids do all the right things with their physio activities for a long time and see no improvement. Until the posture is treated, then it improves quickly.
 

Cloe Forner

Proud Parent
Nov 30, 2021
41
44
So most of you are recommending an MRI. How much would that cost? And should we see our regular doctor first to see what she says? Thank you everyone for all you reply's!
 

katrid11

Proud Parent
Sep 1, 2020
77
47
I would not see the regular doctor. Go straight to an ortho.

Your daughter needs a series of xrays and the MRI to see what is really causing the pain. My last MRI was $2500 but my insurance covered all by $250.

As a 46 yr old with daily back pain I can 100% relay that a regular Doctor does not have any ability to help in this situation. At best they can say "go see an ortho" or prescribe medication. Unless it is a 1 time strain - which is not the case based on your comments - a regular dr is just a stepping stone.

Do NOT send your daughter to practice until she sees a ortho and gets the workup done. You are risking her long term mobility and potential lifelong pain by practicing right now.
 

NutterButter

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jan 24, 2013
879
You will have to work withing the confines of your heath insurance unless you pay out of pocket for everything. The sooner you can get to an ortho, the better so if you can self-refer do that. I think my DD's MRI was around $1000 (high deductible plan so I paid for this from my HSA). If you have to start with your regular doc, advocate for a referral to an ortho right away. The reason why everyone is saying MRI is because back problems don't always show on xray. I wouldn't waste time or money on an xray.
 
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PeanutsMom

Proud Parent
Jun 14, 2019
201
Is it really that bad? Did you have this to and if so what did yours turn out to be?
We were thinking about going to a chiropractor, but we haven't yet.
Yes it can be THAT bad. My daughter had hip pain for 4 months (hip, not back) and when it wouldn't go away we went to an orthopedic and they did xrays and found a complete break in her lumbar spine between L4 and L5. She is now under the care of a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. She NEVER had an acute injury. All of this was from overuse and training and impact. Do not ignore this. Go to get the referral and get the MRI now.
 
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Cloe Forner

Proud Parent
Nov 30, 2021
41
44
Yes it can be THAT bad. My daughter had hip pain for 4 months (hip, not back) and when it wouldn't go away we went to an orthopedic and they did xrays and found a complete break in her lumbar spine between L4 and L5. She is now under the care of a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. She NEVER had an acute injury. All of this was from overuse and training and impact. Do not ignore this. Go to get the referral and get the MRI now.
So sorry to hear that. Prayers for her healing.
 

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,299
Wisconsin
I'm just going to link this other thread into this one for future reference or others that happen to read here...

 
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ReluctantGymMom

Proud Parent
May 11, 2020
311
32
Let me share with you our teammates experience which engrained in me that the second my child says their back hurts, they aren’t moving until a spinal ortho familiar with gymnastics sees them:

For several months, on and off, this girl had back pain. Her mom thought an chiropractor and back massages would be the best way to go forward - she was still in compulsory, there was no real reason to imagine something would be seriously wrong. The adjustments made her feel better temporarily.

But the pain kept coming back, harder and faster. Until she couldn’t bend over without crying. Another month passes, she’s now been mostly unable to practice for 3-4 months out of sheer pain and her mom finally takes her to an orthopedic pediatrician.

3 spinal fractures at the age of 11. 18 months of 23 hour a day bracing. Forget gymnastics, she hasn’t been able to bend over to touch her toes! She couldn’t hold her baby sibling, who is no longer a baby. She couldn’t ride a bike! 18 months later and the last fracture is still in the process of healing.

Would the outcome have been different if she’d gone to a doctor 6 months earlier? Maybe, maybe not - but when you hurt your arm or your leg, you can still use the rest of your body. When you hurt your back, you are pretty much not going to do anything because everything puts impact on your back.
 

MUTigerMom

Proud Parent
Jan 17, 2017
79
45
As everyone else has said, please see a pediatric orthopedic doctor ASAP and get an MRI. My daughter suffered from a stress fracture in her L4 that ultimately forced her retirement from gymnastics. It is important to get whatever she is dealing with diagnosed quickly so you know what you are dealing with and can begin treatment as soon as possible to help her heal and get back to what she loves. Please feel free to pm me if you want more information on my daughter’s injury. Please don’t wait and see… we probably waited too long to seek a diagnosis because she kept saying it “wasn’t that bad.” We didn’t watch training so didn’t know. It wasn’t until we saw she was unable to kick a soccer ball without wincing in pain that we knew it WAS serious.
 
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