Spondylolisthesis refers to slippage of vertebrae where one vertebra is situated over another. Most commonly seen in the lower back, the condition can be caused by the effects of aging, injury to the spine or genetic predisposition. Symptoms include tightness and stiffness of back muscles, pain in the thighs or buttocks and pain in the area of the spine where the slippage has occurred. If the displaced vertebra compresses a nerve root intense radiating pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness and loss of muscle function can occur.
To reach a diagnosis of spondylolisthesis, a Lumin PainCARE specialist will use an X-ray or a CT scan to confirm the presence of vertebral slippage. The slippage will then be assigned a grade of 1 to 5, which will help determine the type of treatment necessary.
Prescribed treatment will vary. Factors taken into account include the severity of the spondylolisthesis causes, as well as the overall health of the patient. A Lumin PainCARE specialist will first recommend conservative approaches including targeted exercise and stretching, activity modification, perhaps a back brace, physical therapy, nerve-block injections, chiropractic adjustments and, in rare cases, minimally invasive spine surgery.