In this condition one of the spinal bones (vertebrae) starts to slip forward relative to the one above and the one below. This causes problems as the relative movement makes the gaps for the nerves and the spinal cord narrower, sometimes causing trapped nerves. It tends to be a slow process with the vertebra slipping over an extended period.
It can be caused by either a small development abnormality of the spine or by a small fracture to the back of a spinal vertebra. Both of these compromise the small struts that keep the bones in their rightful place.
Symptoms of spondylolisthesis:

  • Low back pain
  • Aggravated by arching back, standing for long periods or walking uphill/upstairs
  • Sciatica: Pain going into the buttocks and done the legs
  • Numbness/tingling in legs
  • Weakness or a ‘rubbery feeling’ in legs

Spondylolisthesis requires a careful and expert diagnosis by a trained professional. It is a common presentation in clinic and where appropriate, receives careful and expert treatment. Firstly an assessment and analysis is performed to establish how serious the problem is and then, if appropriate, gentle treatment is performed to stabilize structures, reduce inflammation, and facilitate the healing of the structures causing the symptoms.
Ultimately the aim is not just to treat it but prevent the symptoms from reoccurring. This includes education on how to keep the area in question healthy in the future. Please call to talk to a trained professional if you want to know more.