Since your back supports your entire body and there are so many different parts to the spine, you must seek diagnosis and treatment from back pain specialists experienced in treating conditions such as spondylolisthesis and other debilitating conditions. Spondylolisthesis causes low back pain and mobility issues. The best treatment for spondylolisthesis in northern New Jersey is at Redefine Healthcare with four convenient locations in Union, Paterson, Edison and Clifton. Don’t suffer any longer than necessary. Call today for a consultation.
Spondylolisthesis is a painful condition that occurs when vertebrae at the base of your spine slip out of position. The slipped vertebrae often press or pinch nerves and cause pain in the lower back and legs. But spondylolisthesis is usually treatable with therapy or surgery, which is always a last resort.
With so many things that can go wrong with your back, you can rely on the experience and training of doctors familiar with your current condition.
Types of Spondylolisthesis
A proper diagnosis of spondylolisthesis guides your treatment. There are several types of spondylolisthesis.
The most common types include:
- Congenital spondylolisthesis. Also known as dysplastic spondylolisthesis, this type of spondylolisthesis occurs when a birth defect causes the vertebrae in your lower back to slip out of place.
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis. Degenerative spondylolisthesis is most common in those over the age of 50. As joints in the spine age, they become weaker and allow vertebrae to slip out of alignment. This type of spondylolisthesis occurs more often in women than men.
- Isthmic spondylolisthesis. This type of spondylolisthesis is caused by a fracture of the isthmus, a small piece of bone that connects the joints at the back of the spine. If a portion of the isthmus is fractured, vertebrae are more likely to slide or slip out of place.
- Traumatic spondylolisthesis. Traumatic spondylolisthesis is caused by an injury. This condition occurs most often in athletes who play strenuous impact sports, such as football, or other sports like gymnastics that push the vertebrae out of alignment.
- Pathological spondylolisthesis. If disease or infection weakens your spine, allowing vertebrae to slip, that type of spondylolisthesis is known as pathological spondylolisthesis.
Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis
Symptoms may include:
- Difficulty walking or running
- Weakness in your legs
- Lower back pain, especially when twisting
- Pain in the buttocks
- Tight hamstring muscles
- Tingling in the legs or feet
Diagnosis of Spondylolisthesis
It’s possible to have spondylolisthesis and not have any symptoms. In these instances, spondylolisthesis is sometimes caught at yearly exams. In most cases, however, you’ll first notice lower back pain and often are unsure of the cause.
To diagnose spondylolisthesis, your doctor performs a physical exam of your spine and asks you questions about your pain and symptoms. If he suspects spondylolisthesis, your doctor orders an x-ray of your spine to determine the location and severity of the slipped bone. From there, your doctor can usually prescribe treatment, although in some cases, additional imaging tests are needed.
How to Treat Spondylolisthesis
Treatment for spondylolisthesis usually includes at-home care and therapy, although surgery may be needed as a last resort in rare cases. Don’t begin any self-care measure, however, without a proper diagnosis and clear instructions from your doctor targeting your specific problem. Spondylolisthesis treatment therapies include:
- Physical therapy. This improves your flexibility and strengthens your back, shoulder and core muscles to prevent future injury. Strengthening those supporting muscles also relieves pressure on your spine, providing pain relief while you heal. Core strengthening exercises also prevent further back injuries.
- Medication. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen reduce swelling and help you manage pain, especially before therapy has started. For severe pain, your New Jersey pain specialist may order stronger prescription medication for short-term use.
- Weight loss. Excess weight puts undue stress on your joints and spine. If you’re overweight, your doctor may suggest a safe weight-loss program that’s right for you.
- Avoid painful activities. Until the pain has lessened, you should stop any activities that aggravate your pain. That may include sitting or standing for long periods, or certain types of exercise, such as running or biking.
- Surgery. Surgery is only used to treat spondylolisthesis in rare cases, such as when there is severe spinal damage. Thanks to the most up-to-date techniques used by pain management specialists, most surgical procedures are done arthroscopically, reducing risks and recovery time.
Northern New Jersey pain management doctors are passionate about helping you feel your best. If you’re suffering from lower back pain or are concerned about spondylolisthesis, contact Redefine Healthcare today to schedule an appointment and get your pain management treatment underway.
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