What Is Spondylolisthesis and How Can I Get It Treated?

The reasons why so many people are plagued with lower back pain are as numerous as they are varied. One of the most common reasons of this pain is a condition called spondylolisthesis, or ‘spondy’ for short. The spondy condition occurs when the lumbar vertebrae, the building blocks that makes up our spine, have ‘slipped’ forward. […]

The reasons why so many people are plagued with lower back pain are as numerous as they are varied. One of the most common reasons of this pain is a condition called spondylolisthesis, or ‘spondy’ for short. The spondy condition occurs when the lumbar vertebrae, the building blocks that makes up our spine, have ‘slipped’ forward.

A spondy can happen at any of the verterbrae, but the place between the fifth (lowest) verterbrae and the sacrum, the wedge shaped base of the spinal column, seems to be the most common.

Why is spondylolisthesis so painful?

The problem with spondy is not only that the spine becomes misaligned, but the condition also causes the ligaments, which run up and down the spine, to stretch. It is this stretching, which causes the pain, and the further the ligaments are stretched the greater the discomfort becomes.

What causes spondylolisthesis?

There are so many different causes for spondylolisthesis that doctors have developed a complicated classification system to help define which type of spondy they are dealing with at any given time.

These classifications range from congenital conditions; people who are born with it, spondy caused by multiple fractures such as the damage suffered by gymnasts, weightlifters, and other sportsmen and sportswomen, to the impact of accidents and injuries, and many types in between. But to simplify, here are the five main causes of spondylolisthesis:

 birth defects
 fractures
 degeneration
 tumors
 surgery

What are the symptoms of spondylolisthesis?

A surprising number of people live their lives with spondylolisthesis without knowing they have the condition until they are X-rayed for some other problem. But there are several tell-tale signs that spondy tends to bring with it:

 Lower back pain after physical activity
 Increased swayback (lordosis)
 Weakness and pain in one or both legs
 Lack of control over bladder and bowel functions
 Over-tight hamstrings

In severe cases, spondylolisthesis may cause sufferers to change the way they walk and stand. This can result in a kind of ‘waddling’ with the belly protruding even further. It can also make the torso appear shorter, and is often accompanied by muscle spasms in the lower back region.

What is the best non-surgical treatment for spondylolisthesis?

If the condition is stable, i.e., the spine is not slipping forwards any further, then most spondylolisthesis sufferers will not need surgery.

However, the physical therapist will want to monitor the condition at regular intervals, along with therapy advice such as:

 Physical therapy
 Microcurrent Point Stimulation (MPS therapy)
 Low impact exercises such as swimming or treading water
 Avoiding activities like strenuous sports, heavy lifting, excessive bending, etc.
 Medication to decrease pain, control inflammation and muscle spasms
 A brace to help reduce pain and muscle spasms

If you think you might be suffering from spondy or any other kind of discomfort in your back, then we can help. Call today at (281-888- 0047) for an over-the- phone consultation or book an appointment for a discovery visit.

Remember that pain in your lower back can be a sign of any number of conditions and ailments, and the sooner you come to us for treatment, the sooner you’ll be living and enjoying a pain-free, happy life. For some easy tips you can use right now to start easing your back pain, click the link to download my free back pain guide: https://www.nextlevelpthouston.com/back-pain.html

AUTHOR

Dr. Jack Wong

Next Level Physical Therapy

"We Help People Age 40+ Stay Active, Healthy & Mobile Without Relying On Pain Meds, Injections Or Surgery"




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