Many young people often complain of lower back pain and the discomfort this brings them. They usually pursue sports, weight lifting, or gymnastics. Overuse of certain parts of the body can harm the spine, which is often called spondylolysis. We recommend that you consult a doctor to know more about the causes of your back pain and to receive prompt treatment for the same.
What Exactly is Spondylolysis?
The human spine is made of small rectangular-shaped bones called vertebrae. The 24 vertebrae in the spine are stacked one on top of the other and protect the spinal cord. When a person suffers from spondylolysis, a crack or stress fracture develops through a thin portion of the spine that connects the upper and lower facet joints. The fracture may occur on either side of the bone, especially considering that the affected area is usually the weakest portion of the vertebra. In worst cases, this fracture develops into spondylolisthesis, a more severe injury to the spine, which often requires surgery.
This condition occurs when a lumbar vertebra slips out of place. It slides forward, distorting the shape of your spine. This may compress the nerves in the spinal canal. The nerves that exit the foramen (open spaces on the sides of your vertebrae) may also be compressed. These compressed nerves can cause pain and other problems.
This is a crack that forms in a narrow bridge of bone at the back of a vertebra. A vertebra is one of the bones that forms your spine. Often, this injury happens in the lumbar spine. It can happen to people of all ages. But, we most often see it in children and teens. That’s because their bones are still growing.
Who is at Risk of Getting Spondylolysis?
Spondylolysis is most commonly seen in children and teenagers, especially those who have experienced a sudden growth spurt upon reaching puberty. The condition is especially common among youngsters who participate in sports, weightlifting, gymnastics, and games. The high level of physical activity puts a strain on their spine, which causes it to overextend. Eventually, this gives way for small fractures to occur. Spondylolysis is seen in teens and adolescents because their spines are still in the developmental stage, which makes them more susceptible to injury.
What are the Causes of Spondylolysis?
As discussed above, spondylolysis is most likely to occur due to the overuse or overextension of the lumbar spine. An active sports person with frequent back pain who also falls within the vulnerable age group could develop spondylolysis. Besides these factors, genetics plays an important role and those who have a genetically thinner vertebral bone could likely be affected by spondylolysis.
What Are the Symptoms of Spondylolysis?
Many times, children and teens don’t realize that they could have a back problem. Spondylolysis symptoms are not always apparent, which is why frequent visits to the doctor are necessary. When symptoms show up, people report feeling lower back pain that feels similar to a muscle strain. This pain could travel down the buttocks and thighs as well. When conditions are at their worst, the person could be suffering from spondylolisthesis, which gives way to symptoms like muscle spasms, stiffness in the back and legs, and trouble walking and standing.
Diagnosis & Treatment
When you visit our clinic to check for spondylolysis signs, our doctor will conduct physical and imaging tests to determine the exact amount of strain on the lumbar spine. If signs of significant stress on the spine are apparent, our doctors will begin treatment for spondylolysis. Typically, a full treatment plan includes sufficient rest, non-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy. Doctors may also recommend the patient to wear a back brace to allow the fracture to heal completely.
Visit Us Today
Our experts at Source Healthcare in Santa Monica, CA, are fully-equipped in handling cases of acute and chronic back pain. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with spondylolysis, visit us today to receive advanced care.