Common Causes of Lower Back Pain in Young Athletes

Lower back pain in young athletes can be quite common, often in sports such as gymnastics, dance, cricket and other sports that may place a high load or high forces through the lumbar spine. Excessive exposure to theses forces or loads over time may lead to structural injuries/degenerative changes at the lumbar spine, one of the most common being Spondylolisthesis.

Spondylolisthesis is classed as a degenerative condition of the lumbar spine causing pain, numbness and weakness in the lower back and lower limbs. It can be caused by trauma (acute) or degenerative changes such as stress fractures due to chronic exposure to high loads and forces. The pain felt when an individual suffers from spondylolisthesis is due to one vertebra “slipping” forward over the vertebra below and usually occurs between the L5 and the sacrum. Children and adolescents are most commonly affected, especially young athletes, and spondylolisthesis can often be asymptomatic until it reaches later stages of the injury.

Exercise Rehabilitation can be effectively used to assist in the management of spondylolisthesis in individuals of all ages, and injury Prevention programs may be of use to young athletes whoa re at risk of developing this condition. Contact the Accredited Exercise Physiologists at Absolute Balance for a dynamic and personalized Exercise Rehabilitation or Injury Prevention program, email or head to our website to view the full research article on Spondylolisthesis.

Elli Brashaw


B.Sc.- (Hons) Exercise Physiology

Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP)(ESSAM)