Spondylolisthesis is most often caused by a stress fracture of a vertebra, which often occurs in sports activities that put a lot of stress and pressure on the back or overstretches the spine. The condition can also result from congenital disorders of the spine, which are disorders that are present at birth.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
The following factors may increase your risk of spondylolisthesis:
Age: 10-15 (This is when most of the progression of the condition occurs, but symptoms may
not appear until adulthood.)
Being an athlete, especially gymnasts, weight-lifters, and football players
In many cases of spondylolisthesis, there are no obvious symptoms. But symptoms may include:
Low back pain, which may feel like muscle strain
Muscle spasms of the hamstring
Changes in posture and/or gait
Narrowed spinal canal
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Other tests may include:
—a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body, especially bones (may be performed while you are standing)
—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the body
—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
Physical therapy for spondylolisthesis usually involves exercise, especially exercises that strengthen the abdominal muscles and the extensor muscles of the back. A back brace may also be recommended.
If you are overweight, your doctor may instruct you to lose weight.
Pain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may be recommended to help manage pain.
Steroid medication injections may help reduce pain. These injections are given around the nerves that exit the spinal cord.
If the slippage of the vertebra is severe or if your pain does not respond to other treatments, surgery may be recommended. This may involve fusing two of the vertebra together in a procedure known as
Take the following steps to help protect your spine:
Get plenty of rest between workouts.
Take measures to protect your back when participating in sports.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a