Lumbar (Low Back) Pain Spondylolisthesis

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Pain in the Lumbar Spine as a Result of Spondylolisthesis

Lumbar pain, also referred to as low back pain is among the most common symptoms of spondylolisthesis. The symptoms each person feels as a result of this condition vary from mild to severe and may also include muscle tightness, stiffness, tenderness, and pain in the thighs and buttocks. 

Spondylolisthesis and Lumbar Spine Pain

Spondylolisthesis is a condition that occurs in the low back when one lumbar vertebrae in the spine slips forward over another vertebrae. When this happens it can cause a number of painful symptoms including low back pain, stiffness, tenderness, tightness and pain that seems to radiate down from the lumbar area of the spine and into the thighs and buttocks. Spondylolisthesis requires careful examination, diagnosis and treatment from a spine health expert.


Is Spondylolisthesis a Symptom of a Lumbar Spine Pain?

Spondylolisthesis is a condition that occurs when one lumbar vertebra slips out of alignment with the vertebra below it. When this slipping out of position happens, the offending vertebra rests on the bone of the vertebra below it, and this can cause pinched nerves and other painful low back pain symptoms due to the misplaced vertebra.

Spondylolisthesis is most commonly caused in adults by the normal wear and tear on the spine, typically by a degenerative condition called osteoarthritis. In children, spondylolisthesis is due to a birth defect of the spine or trauma. Other conditions that can result in spondylolisthesis and accompanying low back pain include lumbar spinal stress fractures, traumatic lumbar spinal fractures and bone diseases. However, individuals who participate in certain sports such as football, gymnastics, and weight lifting, are more prone to develop this particular condition because of the repeated hyperextension of the spine required by the activity.

The most common symptom of spondylolisthesis is lumbar pain or low back pain. The way symptoms are experienced in many patients diagnosed with spondylolisthesis can range from mild to severe and extremely painful. It can cause pain to radiate to the arms or legs if the vertebral slippage occurs in the lumbar region. Stiffness in the muscles surrounding the out of place vertebra is also common, and neurological symptoms, such as numbness and weakness in extremities may also be involved if the slipped vertebra is causing pressure on surrounding nerves.

Treatment for this condition usually begins conservatively, with a back brace, pain medication to reduce the lumbar pain and other symptoms and physical therapy. When these treatments fail to provide adequate relief from the lumbar pain symptoms of spondylolisthesis, spinal fusion surgery to stabilize the spine and help reduce pain may be recommended by a spine health expert.

At a Glance: Alleviating Lumbar Spine Pain from Spondylolisthesis

  • Talk to your doctor about taking medication to help fight lumbar pain and inflammation caused by spondylolisthesis
  • Use hot/cold compresses as instructed to reduce inflammation
  • Physical therapy may help people with spondylolisthesis to alleviate stiffness in the lumbar spine
  • Consult a physician as spondylolisthesis could be a symptom of another degenerative condition in the lumbar spine.

Glossary of Lumbar Pain Terms

  • Spondylitis – inflammation of the joints of the vertebrae in the lumbar spine
  • Spondylolisthesis – slippage of one vertebral part of the lumbar spine out of alignment and over the vertebra below it
  • Spondylosis – Dysfunction of the lumbar vertebra due to dehydration and loss of disc height

Health Tips

  • Always eat breakfast
  • Eat your fruit and veg
  • Take time to shop each week
  • Sit down at the table to eat
  • Get adequate rest daily.

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