Stress fracture of pars interarticularis - Lower back injuries

This condition is also known as spondylolysis and occurs when the pars interarticularis becomes damaged due to repetitive actions which place pressure upon it; this injury is common in sports such as tennis, cricket and throwing events in athletics.

Causes of stress fractures

Stress fractures are often categorised as overuse injuries and are caused by repeated actions which put a certain area of the body under pressure; a stress fracture of the pars interarticularis occurs when the spine is placed under considerable pressure over a prolonged period of time.

Symptoms of a stress fracture in the pars interarticularis

Common symptoms include pain in the lower back, which is usually worse on one side; pain is also heightened when the back is bent forwards or backwards. Other symptoms include a restricted range of movement, tenderness and pain in the hamstrings. Pain may also be worse when the patient stands on one leg.

Treatment for a stress fracture in the pars interarticularis

The most effective form of treatment for spondylolysis is rest; this will allow the area time to recover and heal. Physiotherapy will help to strengthen the core muscles, which will reduce the risk of injury and increase the range of movement and flexibility in the body. The injury should be allowed to heal before exercise is resumed; exercising with an injury will almost always be counterproductive and lead to further damage.

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