Spondylolisthesis affects people in different ways. While some may have no symptoms or limitations due to spondylolisthesis, others may live with chronic pain or ongoing muscle spasms. The skilled physicians at the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona offer nonsurgical treatment options to alleviate pain and other symptoms of spondylolisthesis at offices throughout Tucson, Oro Valley, Green Valley, Safford, Benson and Willcox, Arizona. To learn more about treating spondylolisthesis, call the office nearest you or request a consultation online.
Spondylolisthesis is a condition that develops when vertebrae in your lumbar spine, or lower back, slips out of place. The vertebrae can slide forward, changing the shape of your spine.
This movement of the vertebrae can result in excess pressure on the spinal nerves, causing nerve irritation, inflammation, and chronic pain.
There are a number of reasons you may develop spondylolisthesis. For some, spinal defects that are present from birth interfere with the structure of the spine.
You can also develop spondylolisthesis due to an overuse injury called spondylolysis, which is a stress fracture to the vertebrae, often from repetitive movements and participating in high-impact sports.
As you get older, your risk for spondylolisthesis increases due to degenerative diseases, like arthritis. Age-related disc degeneration can also cause spondylolisthesis complications.
The symptoms of spondylolisthesis can differ from person to person. In some cases, you can have the condition without experiencing any symptoms at all.
When symptoms do appear, you may have frequent pain in your lower back that spreads into your legs and feet. Additionally, muscle spasms in your legs may occur with spondylolisthesis.
Other common symptoms of spondylolisthesis include:
If left untreated, spondylolisthesis can lead to permanent nerve damage that results in chronic pain, which needs surgical intervention.
Your treatment plan takes into account the severity of your condition. Your physician at Pain Institute of Southern Arizona performs a physical evaluation of your spine and may request imaging tests, such as X-rays, to evaluate the extent of your condition.
Initially, you can try rest and the use of a back brace to stabilize your spine and relieve pain. You also may need prescription or over-the-counter medications to control pain.
Physical therapy exercises are beneficial for pain relief and can also improve your flexibility and reduce episodes of muscle spasms.
If you’re frustrated by limited mobility in your back or weakness in your legs, request a consultation for an assessment to see if you have spondylolisthesis or another back condition. You can request an appointment online or by calling the office nearest you.