Pain Conditions Treated
Suffering from Spondylolithesis? At Bay State Pain Management, We Offer a Wide Range of Treatments for Spondylolithesis & Other Spine Conditions in West Bridgewater & Norfolk, MA.
What is Spondylolithesis?
Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one of the bones of the spine (vertebrae) slips out of place onto the vertebra below it. If it slips too much, the bone might press on a nerve, causing pain. Usually, the bones of the lower back are affected.
What Are The Treatments For Spondylolithesis?
There are many treatments for Spondylolithesis in West Bridgewater & Norfolk, MA however, the most common nonsurgical treatments for Spondylolithesis are doing physical therapy exercises, wearing a back brace. Patients can also take regular over the counter anti inflammatory drugs to reduce pain.
What are the types of spondylolisthesis?
Types of spondylolisthesis include:
- Congenital spondylolisthesis occurs when a baby’s spine doesn’t form the way it should before birth. The misaligned vertebrae put the person at risk for slippage later in life.
- Isthmic spondylolisthesis happens as a result of spondylolysis. The crack or fracture weakens the bone.
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis, the most common type, happens due to aging. Over time, the disks that cushion the vertebrae lose water. As the disks thin, they are more likely to slip out of place.
Less common types of spondylolisthesis include:
- Traumatic spondylolisthesis happens when an injury causes vertebrae to slip.
- Pathological spondylolisthesis occurs when a disease — such as osteoporosis — or tumor causes the condition.
- Post-surgical spondylolisthesis is slippage as a result of spinal surgery.
How common is spondylolisthesis?
Spondylolisthesis and spondylolysis occur in about 4% to 6% of the adult population. It’s possible to live with spondylolisthesis for years and not know it, since you may not have symptoms.
Degenerative spondylolisthesis (which occurs due to aging and wear and tear on the spine), is more common after age 50 and more common in women than men.
When back pain occurs in teens, isthmic spondylolisthesis (usually caused by spondylolysis) is one of the most common causes.
Who is at risk for spondylolisthesis?
You may be more likely to develop spondylolisthesis due to:
- Athletics: Young athletes (children and teens) who participate in sports that stretch the lumbar spine, such as gymnastics and football, are more likely to develop spondylolisthesis. The vertebra slippage tends to occur during children’s growth spurts. Spondylolisthesis is one of the most common reasons for back pain in teens.
- Genetics: Some people with isthmic spondylolisthesis are born with thinner section of the vertebra called the pars interarticularis. This thin piece of bone connects the facet joints, which link the vertebrae directly above and below to form a working unit that permits movement of the spine. These thinner areas of vertebrae are more likely to fracture and slip. Degenerative spondylolisthesis also has a large genetic component.
- Age: As we age, degenerative spine conditions can develop, which is when wear and tear on the spine weakens the vertebrae. Older adults with degenerative spinal conditions may be at higher risk for spondylolisthesis. It becomes more common after age 50.
What is low-grade versus high-grade spondylolisthesis?
To determine how severe spondylolisthesis is, your healthcare provider gives it a grade:
- Low-grade (Grade I and Grade II) typically don’t require surgery. Low grade cases are usually seen in adolescents with isthmic spondylolisthesis and in almost all cases of degenerative spondylolisthesis.
- High-grade (Grade III and Grade IV) may require surgery if you’re in a lot of pain.
Will I need surgery for spondylolisthesis?
Your healthcare provider will start with nonsurgical options, such as rest and physical therapy. These treatments often relieve symptoms. Your healthcare provider may recommend surgery if you:
- Have high-grade spondylolisthesis.
- Experience severe pain.
What causes spondylolisthesis?
Overextending the spine is one of the main causes of spondylolisthesis in young athletes. Genetics may play a role, too. Some people are born with thinner vertebral bone. In older adults, wear and tear on the spine and disks (the cushions between vertebrae) can cause this condition.
What are the symptoms of spondylolisthesis?
You may not experience any symptoms of spondylolisthesis. Some people have the condition and don’t even know it. If you do have symptoms, lower back pain is typically the main one. The pain may extend to the buttocks and down the thighs. You may also experience:
- Muscle spasms in the hamstring (muscles in the back of the thighs).
- Back stiffness.
- Difficulty walking or standing for long periods.
- Pain when bending over.
- Numbness, weakness or tingling in the foot.