Spondylolysis is a condition where there is a crack in the bony posterior (rear) portion of the spinal column. These cracks usually come as a result of excessive or repeated strain, and most often occur in the lower back.
DO SPORTS PUT ME AT RISK?
Activities such as gymnastics, karate, and football, where the back is often bent backward, can be a risk factor for this condition.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?
Spondylolysis or pars fracture can have symptoms of pain and stiffness in the lower back that gets worse with activity and improves with rest. Abnormal stretching of the lower back will normally aggravate the condition.
HOW IS SPONDYLOLYSIS TREATED?
The treatment is will be non-operative at first, meaning rest and bracing will be the primary tactics to reduce pain. With bracing and associated physical therapy, the fracture can have time to heal. Maintaining and strengthening the abdominal and back muscles can be important. For more serious cases of spondylolysis, surgery is needed.
WHAT IS SPONDYLOSIS?
This is just a general term for age-related wear and tear of the spinal disks, often the result of degenerative arthritis.