Results of a survey about spine healthiness on 3.564 high-performance athletes who are sponsored by the German Sports Aid Foundation

929 high-performance athletes from 37 different sports responded to the survey which consisted of more than 50 questions about  social, sport, and medical issues and was supported and sponsored by the Buettner-Janz Spinefoundation. The response rate of 26,1% is consistent with previous surveys by the German Sports Aid Foundation. 54,5% of the athletes, who participated in the survey, were male, 45,5% were female. Their average age was 22 years. More than half of the athletes reported to have experienced back pain within the last 12 months, mainly in the lumbar spine. Almost 80% of the back pain reporting athletes had to get the pain treated professionally (doctor, physiotherapist, etc.).  Physiotherapy/Massages and pain killers were the most efficient in pain-relieving. Because of the back pain, more than 50% of the athletes felt reduced in their power to perform their sport in training. In competition, 14% of the athletes with back pain stated a strongly reduced power to perform their sport. The athletes who participated in the survey had to cancel on average 8 days of practice and 1 day of competition because of back pain. For preventing back pain, many athletes wish to have a better guidance when performing back-affecting athletic training and for reducing back pain they would like to have a more intensive support by physiotherapists.

More results from the survey will be presented after the publication in the European Spine Journal.