Professor Shun Torii of Waseda University School of Sport Sciences explains two patterns of pain
Lumbar spine separation is one of the most common injuries to growing children playing baseball. When complications such as slippage and narrowing of the spinal canal are added due to segregation, the intervertebral disc may be damaged and the play may be affected or long-term withdrawal may be forced. On the other hand, some experts point out that “about 40% of professional baseball players suffer from lumbar spine separation” and “if there is no pain, surgery is not necessary”. Sports injury specialists explain the symptoms and coping strategies for lumbar spine separation that children, instructors, and parents of youth baseball want to know.
Lumbar spine separation is an injury in which a part of the back of the lumbar spine, called the vertebral arch, cracks and eventually breaks, mainly due to excessive exercise and accumulation of fatigue. Most of them are from the upper grades of elementary school to junior high school students during the growing season.
When the hips are strongly flexed, the vertebral arch cracks, resulting in a stress fracture. However, in most cases, despite the fracture, there are no peculiar symptoms such as strong pain. If you continue to apply load to your lower back, it will worsen and the vertebral arch will be completely cut. This is lumbar spine separation. Surprisingly, according to Professor Shun Torii of the Waseda University School of Sport Sciences, which specializes in sports injuries during the growing season, nearly 40% of professional baseball players suffer from lumbar spondylolisthesis.
“To put it the other way around, if you don’t have any symptoms, you don’t need surgery.”
Many athletes do not have any symptoms even if they suffer from lumbar spine separation. There are two main cases of pain. One is when you have “spondylolisthesis”. Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which the posterior part of the lumbar spine is interrupted on both sides, increasing the burden on the intervertebral disc, damaging the intervertebral disc, and making it unsupportable in the anterior region. The stability of the spine is lost and the upper and lower bones are displaced. As a result, it may be difficult to apply force to the lower back, or the nerves may feel numbness or pain due to pressure or irritation.