Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips forward in relation to the lower vertebra, usually in the lumbar spine or low back. This condition can be congenital (present from birth), develop during childhood or happen later in life. It results from the physical stresses to the spine from lifting, sports such as football or gymnastics, accidents or general wear and tear.Another type of spondylolisthesis is degenerative spondylolisthesis, occurring usually after age 50. This may create a narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis).
In youth 18 and younger, spondylolisthesis usually involves slippage of the lowest fifth lumbar vertebra over the top of the sacrum. This is because the angle of the spine at this level is usually greatest leading to gravity trying to shear the top vertebrae forwards on the lower one.
Symptoms An ache in the low back and buttock areas. Pain is usually aggravated when bending backward and may be eased by bending the spine forward. Occasional muscle spasm is also common in the low back and buttock muscles.
At B Enhanced, we will take a careful case history and then examine you in great detail, noting your ranges and quality of movement. We will do minor tests for trapped nerves and in rare cases may request an X ray or MRI scan. We will ask questions about your symptoms and how your problem is affecting you. When a diagnosis has been reached, your osteopath will discuss the treatment options with you.
Although a spondylolisthesis can be serious, the vast majority of injuries are not and can easily be helped by osteopathic treatment. We can normally reduce your symptoms to a pain-free level and give you advice and exercise to help prevent future problems. This condition will most likely need periodic careful maintenance treatment to help prevent serious deterioration.