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Lumbar spondylolisthesis

Lumbar spondylolisthesis is a spine condition in which the vertebrae slip out of place, causing severe pain and stiffness in the back. The pain typically makes everyday tasks and even walking very difficult.

The cause of lumbar spondylolisthesis is usually simple wear and tear from lifting heavy objects and twisting the torso, but it can also be caused by activities such as sports that put a lot of stress on the lower back. In less common cases, the condition can be genetic. It occurs more often in adolescents and adults and is rare in children.

Signs and Symptoms

The level of pain you experience with lumbar spondylolisthesis depends upon how much the vertebrae has slipped. But even a slight slippage can cause nerve compression and pain. If there is nerve compression, your pain may travel from your lower back to other areas, such as your buttocks and legs.

Symptoms of lumbar spondylolisthesis can include the following in the lower back and in your buttocks or legs:

  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of muscle function

Treatment Options

The spine experts at the Kelsey-Seybold Spine Center will explore nonsurgical treatment first to avoid surgery. Treatment options we may recommend include:

  • Medications (anti-inflammatory drugs, pain medications, epidural spinal injections)
  • Physical therapy
  • Low-impact exercises
  • Yoga or Pilates
  • Chiropractic care

If nonsurgical treatments are ineffective, we may recommend minimally invasive surgery, especially in the case of nerve compression.

If you’re experiencing moderate to severe back pain, lumbar spondylolisthesis may be to blame. If left untreated, your condition could worsen and lead to a greater decrease in your quality of life. Contact the Kelsey-Seybold Spine Center for an appointment today.

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