Spondylolisthesis is a painful condition whereby one of the bones in the spine moves out of position. Commonly occurring in the lower back, some people have bones in their neck or mid to upper back that move. This condition is not the same as having a slipped disc. While they do sound similar, a slipped disc involves the tissue between the spine’s bones moving.
Treating Spondylolisthesis is not always straightforward. The treatment will depend on the symptoms that someone suffers from. However, this condition can be treated in several ways.
Most cases of Spondylolisthesis can be treated using painkillers. Anti-inflammatory medication can be ideal. However, stronger anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed if the pain and swelling are quite bad.
If you already take prescription medication, please make sure you know that they won’t affect the painkillers and vice versa. If you are asked to take painkillers, please always take them as directed.
Your doctor may prescribe you some physical therapy, but only after you have avoided certain activities. Activities such as athletics, contact sports, lifting, and bending can make your Spondylolisthesis worse. However, a spot of rest can help.
You may also be asked to see a sports medicine so you can learn to move without hurting yourself. Strengthening exercises can help to improve your range of motion while also helping to prevent future injuries.
If you experience tingling, pain, and numbness in your legs, you may need to have corticosteroid injections. Injections such as these can help to relieve any pain, swelling, and any other symptoms that you may have. The corticosteroid will be injected into the center of the spine if your doctor thinks it is necessary.
Please speak to your doctor if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms as they may need urgent treatment.
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In the past, back braces were often used to help keep the bones in place while also supporting the patient’s back. However, they are no longer recommended by many health professionals. There was a concern that back braces can ultimately weaken the spine without the patient seeing an improvement in their symptoms.
If your symptoms are quite severe, and non-surgical treatments have not worked, you could have surgery. The type of operation that is required can depend on the side effects and type of Spondylolisthesis that you have. Surgery typically involves fusing together the bone that has slipped to the bones next to it. This is done using metal rods and screws as well as some of your own bone. Alternatively, some surgeries may require the bone to be removed before it’s replaced by a bone graft.
Surgery is typically a last resort and may only be undertaken when non-surgical methods do not work.
If you think you have Spondylolisthesis, please speak to your doctor. They may be able to help you with your pain. Please note, everyone’s symptoms are different which means everyone will need personalized treatment.
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