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Lumbar Stress Fracture and the Role of Chiropractor

Lumbar Stress Fracture In sports like cricket, excessive stress on body and associated injuries are common occurrences, particularly in bowlers. Many of these injuries results in lower back pain. Fast bowlers especially suffer from the ‘lumbar stress fractures’ that can result in unilateral lower back pain.

What is Lumbar Stress Fracture?

Fast bowling demands an asymmetrical action that adds pressure to the trunk of the body through side flexion, extension, and rotation movements. Repetition of this action can lead to stress and fracture of the pars interarticularis. The ‘pars’ or pars interarticularis is a portion of the bone in between the inferior and superior articular facets of the lumbar spine vertebrae – the bones of the back.

Spondylolysis is the fracture sustained in the ‘pars interarticularis’. Basically, the terms pars fracture, spondylolysis and pars defect are used interchangeably. This lumbar stress fracture occurs commonly at lumbar vertebra L5 level. Techniques in fast bowling that involve huge moments of rotation and hypertension carry the biggest risk.

What are the Causes of Lumbar Stress Fracture?

The factors that contribute to the development of lumbar stress fracture or spondylolysis are the technique of bowling, age of the athlete and the overload. There are three types of bowling techniques, that is ‘side on’, ‘front on’, or mixed technique. There is a greater risk of developing spondylolysis when the player uses the mixed technique of bowling compared to the other techniques. Thus South Perth chiropractor, Dr Adam Rocchi, advises players to use the ‘front on’ or ‘side on’ bowling techniques after getting more information about their particular technique and physical condition.

What is the Treatment for Lumbar Stress Fracture?

The treatment for pars defect or lumbar stress fracture involves four phases. Chiropractors adopt a conservative approach to treating lumbar stress fractures. Along with massage, heat or ice therapy, chiropractors use spinal stabilisation, spinal adjustments and suggest lifestyle changes for the treatment.

Phase I– In the first phase Dr Rocchi protects the site of the fracture and offers pain relief. He advises the player to refrain from bowling for a period of 6 weeks. He can even suggest exercises to improve the condition of the player and suggest the sportsman refrain from aggressive activities like running.

Phase II– The second phase is the most important part of the treatment. He makes use of Trigenics for reconditioning the brain of the player in order to relieve pain and increase muscle mobility and strength. The North Perth Chiropractor advises the player to do the following things:

  • He is advised to stay away from bowling for a period of time.
  • The chiropractor mobilizes and strengthens the adjacent joint area around the lumbar stress fracture site.
  • The chiropractor also corrects any pre-existing imbalances of the muscles in this phase. The strengthening of core muscles are a large focus. Towards the end of the phase, Dr. Rocchi advises the player to resume activities like fielding, net batting, short throwing etc.

Phase III– During this phase the player is advised to begin running and use modified techniques of bowling.

Phase IV– This is the last phase of treatment. During this phase, the player’s return to the field. Only after getting advice from Dr Rocchi and their coach can they begin playing cricket again. They should, however, obey the suggestions of their chiropractor and coach and should not exert themselves in doing more than they are advised to do.

Thus to get help for low back pain from cricket and to prevent spinal injuries call the practice now on (08) 61508785 Scarborough or (08) 61508783 Mount Pleasant to arrange an appointment.

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Spine Scan - Combined Office

Unit 201, 94 Mill Point Road
South Perth
Western Australia
Phone: 0412 052 163

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