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Sports Injuries and Spondylolisthesis Symptoms in Children






     Spondylolisthesis symptoms can arise when one of the spinal vertebrae slips out of line. While vertebral slippage may be inherited or present at birth, it can also result from spinal injury or trauma and is frequently seen in athletes suffering from spondylolysis, a tiny crack or stress fracture in the back of the vertebrae. Spondyloysis commonly results from the overuse and repeated extension of the spine through a bending backward motion.

While children are typically more resilient and flexible than adults, as their activities become more specialized and their sporting events become more aggressive and competitive, they can risk putting excessive stress on their immature skeletal systems. Thus, children who participate in gymnastics, diving, swimming, and dance may be susceptible to spondylolisthesis, as may those who participate sports like football, soccer, hockey, and volleyball.

The most common symptom of spondylolisthesis is pain that spreads across the lower back and worsens when the back is arched. A child may also have difficulty walking, hamstring tightness that limits his or her ability to bend, or poor posture. If the vertebral slippage is severe and spinal nerves are compressed, the pain may shoot down one or both legs and cause weakness or numbness in the legs and feet. When a child experiences any of these symptoms, a doctor will likely seek to confirm the existence of a stress fracture or vertebral slippage and rule out other hidden defects through a spinal x-ray, bone scan, or CT scan.

After the condition is confirmed, the first step in relieving and healing spondylolisthesis symptoms is rest. The child should temporarily stop engaging in the activity that caused the injury. Physical therapy designed to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles, which support the backbone, may be recommended. If the child needs additional relief, he or she can wear a back brace, which flattens out the normal curvature of the spine. Usually, the brace is worn for a few months as the child moves about throughout the day, and as the symptoms lessen, the amount of time in the brace is reduced.

Youthful bodies generally heal quickly, so in most spondylolisthesis cases involving children, the symptoms improve following a period of rest and surgical intervention is not required. However, if conservative treatment is unsuccessful in relieving the pain, or if the child's symptoms worsen, spondylolisthesis surgery may be recommended. Generally, the procedure involves the removal of vertebrae, discs, or bone spurs to achieve decompression of the nerves, or a spinal fusion to immobilize vertebrae and make the back more stable.

While every sport carries with it the potential for injury, children should not necessarily be discouraged from pursuing the activities they enjoy. Through participation in sports, they can learn valuable lessons in discipline, sportsmanship, and socialization. Therefore, an awareness of the causes and prevention of sports injuries can help make athletics a more positive experience for a child. Toward that end, here are some general guidelines:

Safety Equipment Make sure the child uses and wears appropriate, properly fitted, and well-maintained safety equipment, such as helmets, padding, shoes, eyewear, and mouth guards. The equipment should be approved by the organization that governs the sport.

Playing Surfaces Look out for cracks, holes, and ruts in playing fields that could cause a child to trip. High impact sports like basketball and running should be performed on appropriate, forgiving surfaces, such as wooden basketball courts and rubberized tracks.

Adult Supervision Supervise the child's activities. A qualified adult with training in first aid should always be present to enforce the rules, mandate the use of safety equipment, and match the players according to their size, skill level, and physical and emotional maturity.

Adequate Preparation Ensure that the child is adequately hydrated, properly warmed-up, and knows how to play before he or she heads out onto the field.

By taking a few preventive measures, a child's risk of injury while he or she participates in athletics can be minimized. In so doing, you will not only allow him or her to have fun, but also to enjoy the long-term health benefits of being physically active.

Patrick Foote is the Director of eBusiness at Laser Spine Institute, the leader in endoscopic spine surgery. Laser Spine Institute specializes in safe and effective outpatient treatment for patients who suffer from spondylolisthesis symptoms and symptoms caused by other degenerative spine conditions.

Patrick Foote is the Director of eBusiness at Laser Spine Institute, the leader in endoscopic spine surgery. Laser Spine Institute specializes in safe and effective outpatient treatment for patients suffering from spondylolisthesis symptoms. http://www.laserspineinstitute.com/back_problems/spondylolisthesis/spondylolisthesis_symptoms/




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Patrick Foote is the Director of eBusiness at Laser Spine Institute, the leader in endoscopic spine surgery. Laser Spine Institute specializes in safe and effective outpatient treatment for patients who suffer from spondylolisthesis symptoms and symptoms caused by other degenerative spine conditions.


Posted on 2013-06-04, By: *

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