Spondylolysis/Spondylolisthesis in Gymnasts and Other Athletes

June 22, 2016  /  10:54 AM

Spondylolysis refers to a defect in the pars interarticularis—the segment of the vertebra between the superior and inferior articular processes—while spondylolisthesis refers to a forward displacement of a vertebra, especially the fifth lumbar vertebra, most commonly occurring after a fracture. Both conditions are relatively common in children, adolescents and athletes, especially gymnasts, divers, football linemen, tennis players, and rowers.

Those who suffer from spondylolisthesis may experience pain in the legs, thighs, lower back and buttocks that worsens with standing or weight-bearing activity. Other common symptoms include hamstring tightness, restricted range of motion and tenderness. In rare cases, loss of bladder or bowel control may occur.

  • Regain optimal/normal ranges of motion
  • Return to athletic activity without pain or degeneration of condition
  • Regain/increase strength in lower back
  • Commonly seen in gymnasts, divers, football linemen, tennis players, divers and rowers
  • step 1

    Contrast therapy: moist heat plus cryotherapy.

    <p>Contrast therapy: moist heat plus&nbsp;cryotherapy.</p>
  • step 2

    Physiotherapy modalities.

    <p>Physiotherapy modalities.</p>
  • step 3

    Manual/distractive manipulation.

    <p>Manual/distractive manipulation.</p>
  • step 4

    Shock-reducing functional orthotics to minimize stress through the kinetic chain from the feet to the spine and normalize biomechanics.

    <p>Shock-reducing functional&nbsp;orthotics to minimize stress through the kinetic chain from the feet to&nbsp;the spine and normalize biomechanics.</p>
  • step 5

    Therapeutic pillow at night to reduce spinal distortion.

    <p>Therapeutic pillow at night to reduce spinal distortion.</p>

Mark Charrette

Doctor of Chiropractic

Dr. Mark Charrette is a 1980 summa cum laude graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. He is a frequent guest speaker at twelve chiropractic colleges and has taught over fourteen hundred seminars worldwide on extremity adjusting, biomechanics, and spinal adjusting techniques. His lively seminars emphasize a practical, hands-on approach.

Dr. Charrette is a former All-American swimmer, who has authored a book on extremity adjusting and also produced an instructional video series. Having developed succesful practices in California, Nevada, and Iowa, Dr. Charrette currently resides in Texas.