Spondylolisthesis – definition and treatment

Introduction

The spine goes through plenty of stress in most human beings. Whether it’s from recreational activities such as sports to work all activities will place some sort of stress on the spine. Unfortunately, as stress builds up diseases and injury will eventually come about. Disc herniation, facet syndrome, and Degenerative Disc Disease are three common injuries that we have already covered in our past blogs. Today, we’ll go through another injury; spondylolisthesis.

 

The definition of spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is when a vertebra slips out of position. This slipping out of position is different from vertebra subluxation (something that we will cover soon). This is usually caused by fractures in the pars interarticularis. The pars interarticularis is the part of the vertebra which connects the facet with the body. Once that area fractures, only the ligaments will be holding on to the vertebra thus causing the vertebral body to slip (usually) forward over the vertebra below it. This is pretty easy to see on X-rays as the back of the vertebral body will not line up with the one below it. You can find pars fractures too as that will be an indication that there could be a sign of spondylolisthesis, however, it is very difficult to see with untrained eyes.

 

Spondylolisthesis – those at risk, symptoms, treatment

Spondylolisthesis often appears in adolescence and adult men. This is because during this time there will be the most stress put on the spine due to daily living. This fracture mostly occurs in the lumbar spine (low back) and usually seen in people who do plenty of physical work. Personally, I’ve seen a couple of builders who’ve suffered from this injury along with some footballers too. You would think people who extend their low back spine are more likely to obtain this injury, but that is not true. Anyone who puts enough stress on their spine is prone to an injury like this.

 

Spondylolisthesis is painful and annoying. This is because it is pressing on your spinal cord! The main highway for nerve transmission! Since it affects the spinal cord, it is likely that both limbs will feel numbness, tingling, and pain. If the spondylolisthesis happens in the lumbar spine which is the most commonplace, some other symptoms include persistent low back pain, weakness in the limbs, and tight buttocks, and hamstrings. Fortunately, most cases of spondylolisthesis will not need surgical treatment. However, therapy such as chiropractic allows it to heal and recover properly. Even this injury may not be caused by an extension, it is best to avoid any movement that requires this motion in the lumbar spine. This is because it encourages the slipped vertebra to slip even more resulting in more spinal cord irritation. It is best for rehabilitation exercises that consist of more neutral and spinal flexion! However, always consult before doing these exercises!

 

Conclusion

Spondylolisthesis, a spinal injury that is characterized as the vertebra slipping forward in reference to the one below. An injury is seen in adults and adolescents who are often active. The best way of treatment is always prevention. So see your chiropractor and take care of your spine!

 

Spondylolisthesis and its grades

 

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