Back Pain in Teen Athletes


As teenagers test their new strength, they have an opportunity to develop a life-long habit of healthy exercise. But they also need to learn where their limits are and how to build up their strength sustainably. Dr. Alajajian and his staff in Glendale, CA, run a wellness-oriented clinic and are happy to help all patients avoid overuse injuries, as well as recover as quickly and completely as possible. For teenage athletes, there are a few specific concerns that need to be addressed.

Most back injuries in teen athletes are soft tissue strains. They tend to happen when the athlete didn’t warm up properly, which could happen if they weren’t planning on activity or only exercise intermittently. They’ll usually heal well if the athlete refrains from activity for a few days while icing them, and then gradually builds up the intensity of their work-outs. But if they want safe pain relief and to guard against scarring, we can provide electric muscle stimulation such as Acoustic Wave Therapy and low-level laser therapy, as appropriate.

A more serious concern for teenagers is spondylolisthesis. This type of injury results from a small fracture to the facet joints in the back of a vertebra, allowing the body of a vertebra to slide forward. We may provide chiropractic adjustments for dislocations, as well as inflammation-reducing treatment for the surrounding tissues. Teenage girls are also especially at risk for osteoporosis, so they need to ensure they’re getting sufficient calcium and sunlight. We can also examine teenagers for scoliosis, which sometimes appears without a known cause, and discuss therapies that will improve their back strength and flexibility.

Dr. Jack Alajajian and his staff operate at 815 E Colorado Suite 250, Glendale, CA, 91205. Call 818-246-3600.

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