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Spondylolysis Causes & Risks


Spondylolysis can be caused by:

  • A congenital defect in the spine (usually appears a few years after birth)
  • Acute trauma to the back
  • Chronic overextension (bending backwards) with or without sidebending of the back (common in certain sports and activities)
  • Hamstring tightness or muscle imbalance
  • Degenerative conditions of the spine
  • Cerebral palsy —less common

Risk Factors

Factors that increase the chance of spondylolysis:

  • Playing sports such as:
    • Gymnastics
    • Football, especially the offensive line
    • Diving
    • Wrestling
    • Weightlifting
  • Improper athletic or exercise technique
  • Adolescent growth spurt

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2016 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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