The maturing athlete presents a particular set of challenges due to the physiological changes related to aging. These changes may lead to activity limitation and decreased performance. To determine the optimal treatment for this patient population, one must consider intrinsic factors that may lead to biomechanical adaptations and pathological findings.
In this session, we aim to discuss three common areas of pathology relevant to their respective sport-specific activity. The general benefits of continued exercise during the aging process should be highlighted. Low back pain is the most common musculoskeletal ailment in the general population. The older spine can present degenerative spine changes that alter the biomechanics of the spine increasing the risk of injury requiring therapeutic intervention in order to optimize a golfers ability to practice their sport. Athletes of all ages, particularly in tennis, present with shoulder pain. The aging process may cause degeneration of dynamic stabilizing forces, therefore causing a rotator cuff pathology. Other findings such as GH and AC osteoarthritis may lead to decreased performance and function. Knee osteoarthritis is a common entity affecting the general population. However, symptomatic OA may cause significant limitations in runners.
A proper evaluation of intrinsic and extrinsic factors should lead to optimal treatment strategies for this segment of the population. We aim to tackle these common but complex challenges.