As children grow into teenagers, they work harder at sports and are often eager to test their newfound strength. It’s good for them to get into the habit of exercising, but it also puts them at greater risk for overuse injuries. At the Carrollton chiropractic office of Dr. Peter Lazarnick (Dr. Pete), we provide non-invasive care to help athletes return to play and maintain their wellness, so we thought it would be a good idea to discuss some of the particular challenges teenagers face.
Like older people, teenagers are more likely to suffer from back pain when they don’t develop their core muscles or warm up properly. However, they are much less likely to be suffering from degenerated or ruptured spinal discs. Usually, when teenage athletes complain of back pain, the problem is a minor muscle strain that can be treated with a few days of rest and ice. But teenagers are also at greater risk of developing spondylosis in the form of breakdown of the facet joint cartilage in the lumbar region. If spondylosis gets worse, it may turn into spondylolisthesis, which is when one vertebral body slips forward over another.
Teenage girls are at particular risk for developing osteoporosis, and need to ensure they’re getting plenty of calcium and Vitamin D. Scoliosis also sometimes develops during the teenage years for unclear reasons. If a teen is complaining of back pain, we can provide a diagnosis and treatment in the form of chiropractic spinal and soft tissue adjustments, as well as physical therapy recommendations. We also offer diathermy and low level laser therapy to reduce inflammation by improving blood flow and can help determine whether a teenager’s back is being subjected to excessive stress.