Spondylolysis and Spondylolysthesis are common causes of low back pain in adolescents. Spondylolysis is a stress fracture in the vertebrae of the low back. Spondylolysthesis occurs when that stress fracture becomes weak and unable to maintain its position and the vertebra begins to shift. These injuries are common in adolescents who participate in activities that involve a great deal of low back extension such as football offensive linemen and gymnasts. Those suffering from spondylolysis or spondylolysthesis may experience varying degrees of low back pain, especially with extension, stiffness, and may experience radiating pain into the buttocks or lower leg in more advanced cases. This pain is usually progressive and develops over time. Treatment for spondylolysis and spondylolysthesis involves a period of rest and specialized range-of-motion and strengthening exercises. For more severe cases a period of immobilization may be appropriate. If you think you may be suffering from sponylolysis or spondylolysthesis please contact your primary care provider or for more specialized care contact Children’s Sports Medicine.