Spondylolysis refers to a crack or fracture in one of the bones (vertebrae) of the spine. This occurs in the pars interarticularis, the part of the bone that connects that bone to the one above or below it. Strenuous work or sports and repetitive motions are the most common causes.  Young kids and teenagers tend to experience this most as their bones are growing, especially if involved in strenuous or contact activities.  Some people are born with a congenital defect of this part of the bone.  Many people may not experience symptoms or even know they have spondylolysis, and most symptoms can be managed without surgery.


  • Pain most commonly occurs in the lower back
  • Pain may spread to the thighs or buttocks
  • Dull and achy
  • Muscle spasms
  • Worse with physical activity and movements of the spine


  • Initially rest from strenuous and physical activities
  • Ice
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Laser therapy
  • Bracing

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