Stress Fractures (more on Sacroilliac problems)
by: Phil Parle
Q: Thanks for the answers to my questions concerning sacroilliac problems and hamstring pain (see earlier article). Your response, however, raises another question. If there is a stress fracture in the lower spine, what then? Can the pelvis be stabilized if this is the case? Once again, thank you for the help.
A: Thank you for your question concerning stress fractures of the Lumbar Spine.
If your injury was a stress fracture it would be imperitive to seek an opinion and management (preferably from a sports physician) regarding its nature. Management would no doubt depend on the relative chronicity and stability of the fracture. A stress fracture, which usually occurs as a result of an overuse mechanism into Lumbar extension or rotation, needs time to heal like any bony injury.
Conservative management does include a period of rest 6-12 weeks, particularly from back extension activities and/or causative factors which in your case would include jumping. This would be followed by an intensive pelvic stability program. Strong abdominal function is required to prevent recurrence, as it aims to counteract the extension forces through the lumbar spine and pelvis when loaded in weight bearing. In this way they are optimising the control of the pelvis which is what pelvic stability really implies.
Manipulative and Sports Physiotherapist
City Physiotherapy Centre
Shop 3 Simpson House
135-137 Crown Street
Telephone (02) 4226 1015
Fax (02) 4225 2260
Phillip Parle, Cool Running Australia, 04.09.97