Cervical Spondylolysis

Spondylolysis is a fracture or degeneration between two vertebrae in the lower back that can lead to the spine then falling out of alignment, known as spondylolisthesis. It is a common cause of back pain in adolescents. It is possible for spondylosis to go undetected or be mistaken for muscle strain.  The associated stiffness may affect posture.

A fracture in the posterior, or back, of a vertebra can cause the vertebra to slip forward and out of alignment with the rest of the spine. Sports that place stress on the spine, like gymnastics, football, or weightlifting, can cause spondylosis. Long term heavy work leading to degenerative changes may also erode away the boney process.

  • Lower back pain
  • Muscle spasm(s)
  • Stiffness in back
  • Change in comfortable posture
  • Cold pack therapy
  • Over the counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen
  • Flexion based low back exercises and abdominal strengthening will be a major focus of therapy as well as postural education and body mechanics training
  • In severe cases, surgery may be required to realign the spine
peer review

This content has been reviewed and approved by Kathy Doubleday DPT, OCS.

Printable Cervical Spondylolysis Exercises (pdf)

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