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Recovery & Support for Spondylolysis

At NYU Langone, physicians and therapists who specialize in the spine can tailor a recovery plan to the treatment you received for spondylolysis, as well as your lifestyle needs and goals. They work together to provide recovery and support services, including physical therapy, pain management, and mind–body care. 

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Physical therapy is an important part of recovery, regardless of whether you had surgery for spondylolysis. At NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation, our therapists work with you to create a plan for returning to your usual activities and preventing further spine damage. 

Many people find that core, or abdominal, strengthening can take pressure off the spine. Exercises to improve muscle strength and posture reduce painful movement in an injured vertebra. 

Physical therapy may be recommended in combination with anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, or pain medication. It can also enhance the pain-relieving effects of a steroid injection. After several weeks, physical therapy may provide long-term pain relief and improve flexibility and restore function without the need for additional treatment.

Mind–Body Wellness

NYU Langone offers a variety of services that can improve your sense of wellbeing as you recover from spondylolysis. Therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure, meditation, and tai chi can enhance the effects of physical therapy and speed recovery time.

Acupuncture and acupressure can reduce pain and decrease inflammation. 

Tai chi is an ancient form of exercise based on a series of simple movements that are held for varying amounts of time. It is low impact, and most routines move at a slow, graceful pace, emphasizing mental focus, balance, and calmness. Many people find that tai chi boosts their energy and reduces stress. Studies support the use of tai chi for improving balance and reducing joint pain.

Meditation is a form of deep relaxation that has been used for centuries. During meditation, people usually sit quietly with their eyes closed, remaining still and tranquil. Many people find that meditation helps restore emotional balance, reduce stress, and boost energy and focus. 

Lifestyle Changes

Research shows that certain lifestyle factors, such as maintaining a healthy weight or quitting or cutting down on smoking, can enhance recovery from surgery. Our doctors and counselors recognize that this can be difficult. They offer emotional support and programs designed to help you achieve your goals one day at a time, including a Weight Management Program and Tobacco Cessation Programs.

Our Research and Education in Spondylolysis

Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.