Cross Country Runner
Pushing Through Spondylolisthesis

My first memories of pain, due to what has now been identified as slippage of my L5, goes back to competing at a city-wide Girl Scout track meet in the 5th grade. My leg felt numb and I did not know why. It was still bothering me weeks later so I went with my parents to get it checked out.

I had numerous x-rays done mainly of my leg and nothing was getting figured out. Eventually, a doctor had the idea to check out my back to see if that's where the problem was coming from and indeed it was. I have congenital spondylolisthesis which is now at grade 3.

This has been very hard for me, since I have always been an athlete and hate to not be active. Physical therapy was a painful experience for me and often left me in tears, however I do not know if they were just from pain or a mix of that and fear of what could happen in he future. I was not able to participate in certain activities when I was younger because of it so I eventually took up running which seemed to not bother my back or cause pain very often.

I am now twenty years old and have a cross country scholarship at my university. I have not had any serious pain for a long time but recently I was not able to compete in my conference because my back has been extremely agitated. I am going to find a spine specialist this week to make sure my vertebrae has not slipped anymore.

I am really scared and am praying that my abdominal muscles have just become too weak and that is the reason it has been hurting even just walking to class. I get on the elliptical every day and have been doing strengthening exercises on my own but it is just not the same as being able to get up and run with my team every morning at 6 am. As for right now I am just going to keep popping Aleve and hope that the pain will just fade away. - Lara



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