1. What is a Spondylolisthesis?
Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a bone (vertebra) in the spine moves out of the proper position onto the bone below.
Your backbone consists of 26 bones on top of each other called vertebrae. The vertebrae of the spine protect your spinal cord. There are a number of problems that can change the structure of the spine or damage the vertebrae. As a result, the surrounding soft tissue becomes affected as well.
2. What is the cause of the Spondylolisthesis?
A spondylolisthesis usually occurs between the fifth bone lumbar vertebrae and the first bone in the sacrum (S1). The spondylolisthesis is often due to a birth defect in that area of the spine or as a result of a sudden injury. The pars interarticularis can have a breakage and thus allow for movement of one vertebrae on another (See picture below).
In the adult population, a spondylitsthesis is caused usually as a result of arthritis, which is an abnormal wear on the cartilage and bones. Furthermore, particular sport activities that put large stress onto the back such as gymnastics, weight lifting and football. These sports often involve a large about of hyperextension or backward bending. A stress fracture in the vertebrae can cause a bone to become weak and shift out of place.
3. What are the signs and symptoms of a Spondylolisthesis?
The symptoms of a spondylolisthesis include: lower back pain, stiffness, tenderness in the lower back, potential weakness in the legs and muscle tightness expecially in the hamstring muscles.
4. How is a Spondylolisthesis diagnosed?
A spondylolisthesis is diagnosed by history, physical examination and x-ray.
5. How to treat a Spondylolisthesis?
Chiropractic care such as exercises, electromodality and advice on proper posture can be beenficial for those suffering with a spondylolisthesis. Furthermore, massage therapy helps by stretching and loosening tight musculature in the lower back and pelvis area.