Neck & Back: Spondylolysis/Lumbar Stress Reaction


Spondylolysis is also known as a stress fracture, the lumbar spine is susceptible to over use from constant over stretching (hyperextension) at the spine. This can result as a stress fracture on one or both sides of the vertebra. This bony abnormality can alter the position of the spinal segment causing it to shift.




Signs and symptoms of an Spondylolysis/Lumbar Stress Reaction may include:
  • Low back pain centralized at the waist line that worsens with repetitive lumbar extension (bending backward)
  • Painful with sports and activity, especially more often noted with extension based activities
  • More common in teenage patient population
Self Care

A doctor may suggest resting or modifying activity that causes pain until the symptoms go away.

Physical Therapy

Certified Physical Therapists work closely with doctors to create an individualized program to work on strengthening at the core and hips, stability and muscle stretching, manual therapy techniques as indicated as well as analysis of functional movement patterns.

Medications

Anti-inflammatory medication can be used for pain relief

Supports

May need a back brace to assist with pain relief and to provide stability initially

Injections

An injection may be used for pain relief

Surgery

Surgical consult if degree of slipping of vertebrae worsens