A stress fracture of the lower back, medically known as Spondylolysis is the most common overuse back injury in sport. It is a common cause of back pain in adolescents, being particularly common in young cricket fast bowlers. Spondylolysis is caused by repeated arching and twisting of the back, which puts too much stress on an area of the vertebra known as the Pars Interarticularis. This is a weak spot within the bone, where a stress fracture tends to develop.
Spondylolysis is characterised by an ache in the lower back which is exacerbated by sporting activities and eased by rest. Typically, there is back pain when bending backwards, particularly if standing on one leg. In most cases, rest from sports for about 6 weeks is the treatment of choice, accompanied by a programme of rehabilitation with a physiotherapist, that aims to improve the muscle function and stability in the lower back.
Common Spondylolysis signs & symptoms:
|Consult a sports injury expert|
|Wear a back brace to provide immobilisation & support|
|Exercise with a Swiss Ball to increase lower back muscular stability|
|Maintain fitness in the pool with a buoyancy aid|
|Use a seating support to improve posture whilst sitting|
|Practice exercises to strengthen spine stabilising muscles|