Pars Stress Fracture – What are they & How can they be Prevented?

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: June 12, 2014

pars stress fractureA Pars stress fracture is a fracture of the spine that mostly occurs in young athletes. The fracture generally occurs as a result of excess bending and straightening of the spine. This article will dig into the condition, explaining its causes, symptoms, and strategies for prevention.


Par stress fractures are caused by extensive bending motions of the spine, similar to the motions required in many sports (football, baseball, and weightlifting to name a few). Signs of a pars stress fracture may include any of the following:

  • Sharp pain anywhere in the back – from the low back all the way up to the neck.
  • Tingling or numbness in the back or extremities.

If you or your child exhibits any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your physician right away to determine what the problem is and to plot a course for treatment.

Treatment & Prevention

These fractures generally get better with enough rest and time. Patients will need to stop participating in their sport for the duration of the recovery period. Pain medications may be prescribed as well to control pain, and rehabilitation exercises can help the young athlete return to their sport. It is important to diagnose and treat stress fractures as soon as possible. If left untreated, they can become worse and lead to more serious issues requiring more serious treatments. Make an appointment with your physician if you recognize any symptoms of a pars stress fracture. The sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner you can begin treating the fracture and work your way back to your fully-functioning self.

The best prevention method is to limit the amount of physical activity that requires extensive spine bending. If this is not an option, proper stretching techniques and not over-exerting yourself can help prevent fractures.

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