WHAT IS SPONDYLOLISTHESIS?
Spondylolisthesis is much easier to define than pronounce. Simply explained, it’s the forward slip of one vertebra of the spinal column, usually occurring toward the base of the spine in the lumbar region.
Approximately 5% – 6% of males, and 2% – 3% of females are afflicted with this condition. It’s usually more common in people who engage in intense physical activity such as, football, gymnastics, or weight training. It’s widely believed that more men and boys have this condition becuase they tend to participate in more aggressive physical activity.
Spondylolisthesis diagnosis is rare in children under five. Most cases surface among 7-10 year olds due to the increased level of physical activity.
GRADES & TYPES OF SPONDYLOLISTHESIS
All cases of sponyloltheses are not created equal. This condition breaks down into five categories illustrating the severity of how far the vertebral body has slipped forward.
Grade 1 being the least advanced, and Grade 5 being the most advanced. View illustration below:
There are two ways spondylolisthesis develops:
Developmental Spondylolisthesis: This type of spondylolisthesis may have been present in the patient soon after birth, or developed during childhood. Most developmental cases are not noticed or diagnosed until later in life.
Acquired Spondylolisthesis: Acquired spondylolisthesis can present itself in two ways:
- Daily stress and wear and tear of the spine. This could be due to aggressive sports. Over time, the connections between the vertebrae weaken, and may cause spondylolisthesis.
- A single or repeated impact to the spine. For example, falling off a ladder, getting hurt on the job, a football injury, ect.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Many people may not realize they have spondylolisthesis. Oftentimes their chiropractor informs them after implementing a routine x-ray. This is another example of the importance of X-rays. Without this step, spondylolisthesis can continue to go undetected.
Here are some of the symptoms to look out for:
- Pain in the low back, especially after exercise
- Increased lordosis
- Pain and/or weakness in one or both thighs or legs
- Reduced ability to control bowel or bladder functions
- Tight hamstring musculature
- In advanced cases, changes may occur in the way people walk and stand
HOW CAN A CHIROPRACTOR HELP?
Your local chiropractor may be the best avenue for pain relief associated with spondylolisthesis. He or she may address the spinal joints above and below the slipped vertebra, helping to address the lower back pain that may accompany spondylolisthesis.
During your visit, an experienced chiropractor may implement the following to diagnosis and treat spondylolisthesis:
- A full examination of the spine may be conducted becuase other portions of the spine may be affected by spondylolisthesis, other then the slipped vertebra.
- Your chiropractor will be interested in your medical history.
- An x-ray may be necessary to form a clear understanding of your condition, and how to move forward with treatment.
- Your doctor may begin the exam with a series of soft touches to the spine to locate areas with restricted joint motion, disc injury, muscle spasm, or ligament injuries. This technique is known as, “motion and static palpation”.
- You may be asked to “walk” so that the chiropractor can evaluate your overall posture and spinal alignment. This gives the doctor a general understanding of the health and function of your spine.
- Your chiropractor may identify specific joints that are restricted or lack proper range of motion, and implement gentle adjustments to the area to restore alignment and range of motion.
Chiropractors may be effective in lowering the grade of spondylolisthesis, and controlling the spread of other conditions due spondylolisthesis. If you’re looking for a Chiropractor in Brick NJ, the Back and Neck Center of Brick can help. We have been helping patients achieve a healthier lifestyle for over 28 years, and we’re confident we can help you too!
Come see why the Back and Neck Center of Brick has been Voted Best Chiropractors in Ocean County 9 Times in a Row! From 2009-2017 by Readers of the Asbury Park Press!