Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is spondylolysis a cause of back pain?"
How does one develop it? I am worried after reading symptoms online.
Spondylolysis is a problem that often occurs in the lumbar region of the spine. It is a defect in the vertebrae of this part of the spine and most often occurs in the very low portion of the back. Basically this "defect" occurs after someone suffers from a stress fracture in that bone. A stress fracture is a small break in the bone that is caused by over use of the back or some repeating action such as bending over. Stress fractures are often not noticed and never diagnosed. Thus, they cannot be treated. The healing process of the stress fracture may be interrupted by this repeated action and the end result is a defect in the vertebrae referred to as spondylolysis. If you are having back pain, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can take a close look at your back and perform some maneuvers to tease out where the pain is coming from. In some instances, imaging of the lower back including an MRI are necessary to make sure that their are no compressed nerves in the area. Finally your doctor can recommend treatment such as pain control injections, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, or referral to an orthopedic surgeon. I hope you feel better.
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