What is spondylolysis?

Spondylolysis is a fracture of the wing-shaped parts of a vertebra, which helps keep the vertebra in place. When one of these parts is hurt or damaged, the vertebra can move forward or backward over the bone below, occasionally rubbing on the spinal cord or nerve root. Spondylolisthesis usually occurs at the bottom of the spine. Like many causes of a back injury, spondylolysis has multiple causes. A defective vertebra can be congenital (from birth), broken through trauma, stress or fracture, or worn down by infection or disease. Spondylolysis is typically seen in children and adolescents who are active in athletics. The following sports are susceptible to the condition: diving, gymnastics, football and rowing.


  • Back pain
  • Numbness
  • Weakness in one or both legs
  • Loss of leg function
  • Swelling


Treatment of spondylolysis aims at strengthening the abdominal and back muscles, coupled with improving day to day bodily functions. Use a Physicool bandage to reduce the pain and inflammation. If severe pain continues, surgery is an option.

  • Pain relief medication
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Cooling therapy to relieve swelling and pain
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery

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