Spondylolisthesis Treatments

Lumbar spondylolisthesis

Lumbar (low back) spondylolisthesis suggests that the stabilisation of vertebrae has been reduced and allowed some slippage. The condition occurs when a vertebra slips forward in relation to the bone below it. The causes of spondylolisthesis include:

Congenital spondylolisthesis. This is a condition someone is born with. It results from a defect in the formation of the facet, which is the part of the vertebra that joints to the next vertebra.

Degenerative spondylolisthesis. Ageing is associated with degeneration of the vertebrae and their intervertebral discs that cushion the spine. The facet joints are the joints in the vertebrae that allow the vertebrae to joint and ‘lock’ into each other. Forward slippage occurs when these facet joints degenerate.

Isthmic spondylolisthesis. This is a form of spondylolisthesis that occurs as a result of spondylolysis. Spondylolysis is a stress fracture in the vertebrae. These fractures weaken the bone and allow forward slippage.

Pathologic spondylolisthesis. Forward slippage can occur when a vertebrae becomes diseased. There are many different disease processes that affect vertebra such as tumours, tuberculosis, infection and metabolic bone disease.

Iatrogenic spondylolisthesis. This occurs after a surgical medical procedure.

Traumatic spondylolisthesis. This can occur after a significant fall or trauma such as a motor vehicle accident or a fall from a significant height

Symptoms of lumbar spondylolisthesis

The most common symptom is pain that radiates from the low back to the buttock area of one or both legs. Hamstring tightness and weakness in one or both legs is also common. There may also be some tenderness about the spine where the spondylolisthesis is. Some people will experience no symptoms at all.

Treatment of lumbar spondylolisthesis

Treatment of lumbar spondylolisthesis by our chiropractors and physiotherapist at Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) will depend entirely on the cause and the grade (severity) of the spondylolisthesis. High-grade lumbar spondylolisthesis will need surgical referral from our chiropractors and physiotherapists, however low grades will be treated very successfully with no surgery at all. Active rehabilitation and exercises are a large component of our treatments along with hands on therapy much as massage and McKenzie method to improve the pain free function of the spine.

Other causes of low back pain

The following conditions are common causes of low back pain.