Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which there is damage to the bones or joints causing the vertebrae to slip forward and distort the spinal cord. This condition usually occurs as a general aging process because the bones, joints and ligaments typically weaken with age. However, genetics may also be a cause along with overuse injuries due to sports, such as gymnastics, weight lifting and football among others can also put a significant amount of stress on the lumbar spine. This condition typically occurs in the lumbar spine and the most common location is at the L4-L5 level.
The slippage of the disc can often cause spasm in the low back that causes the back to feel stiff which in turn can also tighten the hamstrings resulting in change of posture or gait patterns. If the slip is severe in may also cause pinching of the nerves which will cause pain or even localized or radiating tingling sensations down the extremities.
Treating this condition begins with taking a break from any physical activity that may be stressing the lumbar spine until the symptoms go away, as they typically do. Anti-inflammatory medications may also help with pain and inflammation of the joint. Sometimes a back brace or physical therapy that includes stretching and strengthening exercises may help with the pain as well as future prevention. Surgery may be required if conservative treatments do not prove to be effective.
If you are experiencing back pain, neck pain, weakness of the neck, stiffness of the neck or have a spine injury, give us a call 972-250-5700 or make an appointment now.