The squat is a common exercise among athletes. It accomplishes the strengthening of multiple muscles with one relatively simple exercise, and so many trainers and coaches favor it. Spinal doctors are not always fans of the exercise, though.
Nebraska based spinal orthopedic surgeon Dr. John McClellan presented research at a recent North American Spine Society meeting demonstrating that the squat is not worth the benefits, especially for younger athletes.
McClellan has been examining young people and their injured spines for over 14 years, and has found that about 98 percent of children with spinal stress fractures never heal if the injury goes undiagnosed.
“I want doctors who are on the front line taking care of back pain to realize that if you see a child with back pain that’s been there for three or four weeks, you need to look into it and find out if it’s a stress fracture,” McClellan said.
McClellan does not recommend the exercise for adults, either. “It’s a high-risk activity in the weight room and if you’re going to the weight room to stay in shape and to have a good quality of life over a long term basis, it’s not a smart decision,” he said.
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