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Lumbar Spine Degeneration

Lumbar spine degeneration (also referred to as spondylosis) is a common condition. Almost every person over the age of 30-35 has X-Ray findings of degeneration of the lowest lumbar spine disc (L5/S1 level). Many people with this condition may not have lower back pain symptoms as they do not load their lumbar spine beyond its capacity.

Professional football players are sometimes forced to retire early due to premature degenerative changes in the lumbar spine. Other athletes who place their lower back under large amounts of stress, such as gymnasts and cricket fast bowlers, have a higher incidence of symptomatic lumbar spine pathology.

It is thought that there is a relationship between lumbar spine degeneration and lower limb injuries that rely on nerve supply from the lower back e.g. hamstring and calf strains.
Lumbar Degeneration Spondylosis Xray
Xray demonstrating significant lumbar degeneration (spondylosis)
(Image sourced from NYU Langone Medical Center)