The More You Know - Understanding Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis Part 1


One of the most common causes of low back pain in young athletes is spondylolysis. This article will go into some of the basics of the condition.

Some athletes may describe a nagging hip pain that may go away for a bit and then come back. Some athletes may also describe a back pain that worsens with time. Typically, this injury will happen with athletes who have continual stress on the lower back. This could include cheerleading, gymnastics, football, weightlifting, or wrestling, to name a few.

The pain starts of innocuously and continues to get worse with time. The condition starts with a crack or stress fracture in one of the vertebrae (the small bones that make up the spinal column). Common symptoms include: sharp initial back pain that later dulls, pain that is aggravated by arching of the back, pain that radiates to the buttock or thigh, pain that can be eased by rest and often exaggerated back arch or tight hamstrings.

Spondylolysis can occur in people of all ages but, because their spines are still developing, children and adolescents are most susceptible.

For many patients, a doctor consultation followed by short rest from the sport will help with pain in the short term.

We will go over treatment options in the next post, but if you feel as though you may be suffering from this condition, please use the contact page to schedule an appointment with one of our nationally renowned doctors.

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Jim Rumps