Doctor's Notes on Spondylolisthesis
Spondylolisthesis is the slipping of one spinal vertebra onto the bone directly beneath it. It most commonly occurs in the lower back in the lumbar spine. Spondylolisthesis can be classified as congenital (present at birth) or acquired as a result of injury or degeneration.
Spondylolisthesis often causes no symptoms. When spondylolisthesis symptoms do occur, they are usually a result of irritation of nervous tissue, either within the nearby spinal cord or of the adjacent spinal nerves. Symptoms may include
- low back pain and pain,
- tingling, and
- weakness of one or both lower extremities.
This can lead to leg pain, difficulty walking, incontinence, trouble sleeping (insomnia), and inability to function. Spondylolisthesis can lead to spinal stenosis (compression of the spinal cord) with pain in the extremities with movement.
What is the treatment for spondylolisthesis?
The treatment for spondylolisthesis is based on the symptoms that an affected person is experiencing and is customized for each person. Treatments can include:
- Short periods of rest
- Physical therapy to strengthen muscles and increase range of motion
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Corticosteroid injections
- A hyperextension back brace
- Heat or ice application
- Surgical repair or surgical decompression, if conservative treatments fail
Back Pain : Test Your Back Pain IQ QuizQuestion
Nearly everyone has low back pain at some time during their life.See Answer
Must Read Articles:
Can Gallbladder Problems Cause Back Pain?Gallstones or gallbladder inflammation may cause pain in the upper abdomen, usually on the right side, just under the ribs, or pain in the shoulder or back on the right side. The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that secretes bile to digest fatty food.
Chronic PainChronic pain is pain that persists for a period of six months or longer, and is the result of a long-standing medical condition(s) or damage to the body. Common sources of chronic pain include headaches, back pain, and arthritis. There are several types of pain including general somatic pain, visceral pain, bone pain, muscle cramps, neuropathy, circulatory problems, and headache pain. Chronic pain may be managed with over-the-counter or prescription medications.
CT Scan (CAT Scan, Computerized Axial Tomography)What is a CT scan? Computerized tomography scans (CT scans) are important diagnostic tools for a variety of medical conditions. Some areas of the body frequently evaluated by CT scans include the brain, neck, spine, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and sinuses. The CT scan process uses X-rays and a computer to produce cross-sectional images of the body.
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Back Pain and Kidney Pain?The characteristics of back pain and kidney pain may be different -- back pain can be more of a stabbing sensation or happens in the muscle layer. Kidney pain is more dull and constant and tends to remain unaffected by rest, while back pain lessens.
How Do I Know If My Back Pain Is Serious?Back pain can be serious when it is accompanied by symptoms such as sharp pain versus a dull ache, pain that radiates or shoots to the legs or buttocks, sudden weakness in the legs, incontinence, numbness or pins and needles in the groin or glutes; and leg weakness, incontinence, and numbness together.
Incontinence FAQsGet answers to frequently asked questions about urinary incontinence types, causes, health factors, symptoms, tests, treatment, and exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
InsomniaInsomnia affects most people at some point in their lifetime. Insomnia is actually a symptom of a condition, disease, or situation. Non-medical treatment of insomnia includes: sleep hygiene, relaxation therapy, stimulus control, and sleep restriction. There are many medications that can be prescribed to a person with insomnia.
Is It Normal to Have Back Pain in Early Pregnancy?As much as 70% of women experience back pain during pregnancy. While back pain is a common symptom in the second and third trimester, it is normal to experience it in the first trimester as well. Causes of pregnancy back pain include increased levels of the hormone relaxin (which loosens the body in preparation for childbirth), added weight, and others.
Leg PainThere are a variety of causes of leg pain. Some of the common causes include fractures, strains, sprains, bleeding, diseases such as gout, peripheral artery disease, and cancer. Leg pain can also be caused by blood clots, sciatica, neuropathy, joint pain, muscle injury, and skin abnormalities. Treatment of leg pain depends on the cause.
Low Back PainBack pain may be caused by sciatica, a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, injury and pregnancy. The pain usually radiates down the legs, pain that gets worse with activity or at night, or numbness or weakness in the leg. Treatment may involve sleeping with a pillow between the knees or taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a scanner that takes cross-sectional images of the body. It is used to evaluate tissues of the head, neck, chest, limbs, abdomen, and pelvis. MRI is a very safe procedure; sedation may be used for infants, small children, or adults who are claustrophobic.
Testicular Pain (Right, Left Side, and Back Pain)If you are a male, we don't need to describe what "testicular swelling, discomfort, or pain" feels like to you. And hopefully those around you can sympathetically understand the pain you're in. Medically speaking, testicular or scrotum pain is defined as a discomfort or pain in the testicles or scrotum. The pain can range from mild - to severe and serious as in testicular torsion - which is a surgical emergency.Causes of the pain range from common to less common; examples include trauma, epididymitis (testicle infection), kidney stones, testicular torsion (a surgical emergency), STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), enlarged prostate (BPH), inguinal hernia, orchitis (an inflammatory condition in one or both testicles caused by infections), cancer, kidney stones, abscesses, gangrene infections, vasculitis of the wall of the scrotum (henoch-schonlein purpura, HSP), testicular tumor with infection or hemorrhage, and varicocele. A doctor or other health-care professional can help diagnose the cause of your pain by performing a physical exam and ordering laboratory tests. Treatment of testicular or scrotal pain depends on the cause. In some cases, for example in kidney stones, the pain is resolved once the stones are removed. The prognosis depends upon the cause.
Urinary IncontinenceUrinary incontinence is when there's an involuntary loss of urine. There are many types of incontinence, including urge incontinence (overactive bladder), mixed incontinence, reflex incontinence, and stress incontinence. Potential causes of incontinence include overactive bladder muscles, weak bladder muscles, blockage of urine flow, and nerve damage. Treatment may involve dietary changes and exercise, including Kegel exercises and using vaginal weights.
What Are the Best Exercises for Back Pain Relief?Movement can often help relieve back pain, and strengthening back, abdominal, and leg muscles may help prevent back pain from recurring. Most acute back pain is caused by injury or a disorder such as arthritis.
What Causes Back Pain in Your 20s and 30s?Spondylitis is an inherited inflammatory condition that typically affects adolescents and young adults. Anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and exercise comprise the treatment for anklosing spondylitis.
When Should I Worry About Upper Back Pain?Upper back pain is most commonly a result of exercise or overuse inflaming the muscles. More seriously, it can be a sign of a torn ligament, fractured or compressed disks or vertebrae, or a pinched nerve.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.