Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis

Is your child complaining of back pain?

​If your child or adolescent has Spodylolysis or Spondylolisthesis, an experienced pediatric physiotherapist at Active Solution Physiotherapy Verdun will develop a treatment plan specifically for your your child.


Spondylolysis: a fracture of the rear of the vertebra (normally in the low back) due to stress applied to the joint.

Spondylolisthesis: separation of the fractured segments due to a non-healed fracture.

Back pain with activity is a potential sign of Spondylolysis or Spondylolisthesis. If the problem progresses, pain may persist even though your child has stopped the physical activity. Pain will be more severe during periods of physical activity.


Activities that put more pressure on the back of the spine, especially excessive backward bending, can increase the risk of developing Spondylolysis. For example, in the landing posture at the end of a gymnastics routine, the low back absorbs a lot of stress while in a backward bending position. Another example are football linemen, who can also be susceptible to injury when colliding face-to-face with another player, in order to block them.


A thorough assessment by one of Active Solution Physiotherapy’s physiotherapists can reveal a fracture in the vertebrae. Your child may be referred to a doctor. Medical imaging may be recommended. After diagnosis, a home program can be designed to strengthen abdominal and back muscles and increase the flexibility of the hamstrings and hip flexors in order to minimize further stress on the spine.

Treatment Options


Song, Kit M MD, Staheli, Lynn T MD. (2007). Pediatric Orthopaedic Secrets, 3rd edition. Philadelphia: Elsevier Inc. Campbell, S. Vander Linden, D. Palisano, R. (2006). Physical Therapy for Children, 3rd edition. St. Louis: Elsevier Inc.
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