The growing spine is – particularly in performance oriented young athletes – prone to overload: under pubertal hormonal influence the 48 cartilaginous growth zones beneath the vertebral endplates are mechanical as fragil as never before during growth whereas on the other side the impacting forces are becoming higher due to the longer trunk lever arm, the often apparent relative muscular insufficiency, the increasing training hours and intensity as well as the willingness and pressure to perform. The subsequent biomechanical imbalance usually results in simple functional complaints but may also entail structural changes, for example (thoraco-) lumbar Scheuermann’s disease in sports with high axial impact such as alpine skiing oder gymnastics.
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