Virat Kohli's chronic back agony: what could be the cause?

Published: 29 December, 2018 20:45 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

The issue resurfaced in May, followed by August and now again in December

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli's troubled back has been a constant news item in 2018. Kohli sat out a Twenty20 match against South Africa in February 2018 due to a sore back. The issue resurfaced in May, followed by August and now again in December. The captain’s back seems to be repeatedly giving him trouble.

Is it so difficult to treat back pain? Especially when you can afford the very best?

Nithiij Arenja, Chairman, QI Spine Clinic, explains, “World class sportspersons tend to have equally world-class spine problems. In Virat Kohli’s case, only a detailed digital spine analysis (DSA), the gold standard in spine health, can reveal the real cause. And accurate diagnosis is the first step to treat spine related issues. For example, cricketer Lendl Simmons was brought to us by the Mumbai Indians team physiotherapist, and we were able to treat his pain through a comprehensive and targeted rehabilitation process.”

Kohli was seen receiving treatment on the field from India's Australian physio Patrick Farhart during his innings at the MCG. He also took a tablet and appeared to be hampered in his movements.

“The key, in all such cases, is to diagnose accurately and treat early,” clarifies Nithiij.

“A cricketer may experience constant unilateral loading in the spine which can result in an underlying imbalance in the lumbar rotators and lateral flexors. If not identified and treated correctly, it can cause an injury on field or limit the stance as well as force the cricketer is able to generate in order to bat, bowl or field,” adds Dr Rishita Shah.

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