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Spondylolysis - Stress Fracture of Spine- Pain Management
Adolescents that participate in high impact sports and adults with physically demanding jobs have the greatest risk of spondylolysis, a type of stress fracture in the lower part of the spine. Spondylolysis may or may not cause symptoms, such as low back pain. Fortunately, the majority of people with spondylolysis are successfully treated with rest, pain management, and physical therapy.
Spondylolysis is a stress fracture in the pars of the vertebrae in the lumbar spine. Stress fractures are tiny hairline breaks in the bone. Stress fractures result from high impact force, back hyperextension, or repetitive stress.
Imaging tests are used to identify a stress fracture. An X-ray creates a picture of the vertebrae to confirm the fracture and vertebral alignment. Computed tomography (CT) scans, single emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, or bone scans provide even more detailed images.
You may be referred to physical therapy to learn exercises to stretch your hamstrings and strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. Your doctor will increase your activity level gradually. In most cases, people can return to their former activities.
Am I at Risk
• Spondylolysis can occur in adolescents from stress on the lower back during high impact sports, such as gymnastics, weight lifting, football, or high jumping in track.
• Spondylolysis can occur in adults that participate in physically demanding jobs, high impact sports, or intense physical training.
• Some people are born with thin vertebral bones that are susceptible to spondylolysis.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.