Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition affecting the lower vertebrae. It causes one of the lower vertebrae to slip forward onto the bone beneath it, which is often caused by a fracture in part of the vertebra. The fracture may be caused by congenital abnormalities or weakness in the bone. It can also be caused by repeated movements into extension or trauma, such as a car accident.
In many cases of spondylolisthesis, patients do not have any obvious symptoms. The conditions may not be discovered until an x-ray is taken for an unrelated injury or condition. For those with severe cases of spondylolisthesis, it may be difficult to perform daily activities. Some common symptoms may include:
Lower back pain
Stiffness in back and legs
Lower back tenderness
Tight hamstring and buttock muscles
Patients who have severe slips may experience tingling, numbness, or weakness in one or both legs, which arises as a result of pressure on the spinal nerve root as it exits the spinal canal near the fracture.
Causes of this spinal condition vary based on age, heredity, and lifestyle. It is more likely to occur in young people who play sports that cause your strain to overstretch and put stress on the lower back, like gymnastics, track and field, football, and weightlifting. Some people may be born with vertebral bone that is thinner than normal, causing them to be more vulnerable to fractures.
The goals of treatment for spondylolisthesis are to reduce pain, allow recent pars fracture to heal, and return the patient to sports and other daily activities. Treatment will focus on reducing pain through soft tissue immobilization and manual stretching as well as functional exercises for abdominal, back, and glute muscles.
Peak Physical Therapy
Our South Shore Physical Therapy practice specializes in physical therapy including many specialty programs including return-to-sports, vestibular, pelvic health, post-concussion, aquatics, and more. Locations include Norwell, MA, Scituate, MA, Quincy, MA, Hanover, MA, Pembroke, MA, and Braintree, MA. Our specialized programs combined with state-of-the-art facilities allow us to meet the unique needs of our local patients and achieve the fastest results. If you are unsure whether this type of treatment can help you, we offer a no-obligation FREE injury screening. Click here for more information.
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