November 22, 2012

What is spondylolisthesis?

This long confusing term is quite a simple concept creating spinal instability and pain, most commonly in the lower back (lumbar spine). It is a condition that occurs when one vertebra becomes displaced forward on top of another. Sometimes, a defect in the bone itself, called spondylolysis, causes the condition, which maybe genetic or even of traumatic nature.

Symptoms range from nerve damage to tight hamstrings and also include pain in the low back, legs or thighs and muscle spasms. The condition may be present at birth or develop in later childhood or adulthood. It can result from stress to the spine brought on by heavy lifting, trauma (e.g., sports injuries, gymnastics, football, etc.) or the wear and tear of aging on the spine. 

Some people with Spondylolisthesis have no symptoms at all; the condition is diagnosed from an X–ray. Others may develop a waddle, have a protruding abdomen, or develop a shortened torso. The approach used for treatment of this condition depends upon age, severity of symptoms and degree of displacement play a large role in determining the recommended course of action. 

Chiropractic care has produced some very positive results with Spondylolisthesis, particularly when adjustments are applied to spinal segments directly above and below the one that is affected by Spondylolisthesis. Ultimately the plan is to take the forwardness out of the posture specially at the level of the spondylolislethisis.
Another goal is to teach ways to avoid overstressing the back so that re–injury doesn’t occur.
If you have any of the signs described above please contact complete chiropractic Dee Why and find out how we can improve your quality of life.