I am a 16-year-old female gymnast. Some of my teammates have back pain and were told they have stress fractures in their spines. What are the chances I'll end up with a problem like this?

Given your age, sport, and concerns about a stress fracture in the spine, it is likely you are referring to a condition called spondylolysis. This is a type of fracture that develops over time within the supporting beams of the spinal column. It is caused by repeated strains in the spine bones--strains that often come from doing back-bend routines in gymnastics. You have a higher risk of having a problem like this due to the demands of your sport. In fact, scientists estimate your risk to be four times that of other females your age who don't do gymnastics.