What Is Spondylolisthesis and How Is It Treated?

Doctor pointing the lower part of the spinal​

Back pain is often related to strain in the muscles that put pressure on the spine. This is usually treatable with stretching, icing, and rest. However, some types of back pain are related to more serious conditions like spondylolisthesis.

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one of your vertebrae slips out of place. When this happens, it may be difficult to bend or twist your back or neck, and it can be quite painful.

Spondylolisthesis usually follows spondylosis, which is when one of the vertebra cracks or fractures. However, spondylolisthesis can occur on its own as a degenerative condition due to age or genetics.

Treating spondylolisthesis

If you’re suffering from back pain and your doctor diagnoses it as spondylolisthesis, they will likely recommend one of or a combination of the following treatments:

  • Physical therapy — Physical therapists can help you stretch and exercise the muscles surrounding the area of your spine affected by spondylolisthesis. Improving the strength and flexibility of these muscles can provide better support for the spine, which helps the vertebra naturally move back into place.
  • Back brace — A back brace can help support your spine and reduce the amount of pressure there is on the vertebrae affected by spondylolisthesis. It may be necessary to wear a back brace between physical therapy sessions to help promote faster recovery from spondylolisthesis.
  • Surgery — If conservative treatments are not reducing the pain caused by spondylolisthesis or if there are other symptoms like numbness and tingling, your doctor may recommend surgery.

    Generally, surgeons will treat spondylolisthesis with spinal fusion. Fortunately, spinal fusion is often available as a minimally invasive option, which means you can recover quicker and with fewer risks than you may realize.

Visit the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute for spondylolisthesis treatment

At the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute, we offer a variety of treatments to help people reduce back pain from conditions like spondylolisthesis. If you have spondylolisthesis, one of our team members can examine your condition and determine which of our treatments is right for you. Contact us today to learn more about spondylolisthesis treatment or to schedule an initial appointment.

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