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What is Spondylolisthesis?
Spondylolisthesis is a condition that occurs when vertebrae are displaced by sliding of the bone either on top or below it, most commonly in the lower part of the spine. This disorder can be hereditary but is also found in young children whose spines are still developing, and athletes who participate in activities where copious amounts of pressure are put on the spine. The symptoms commonly associated with spondylolisthesis are stiff muscles, pain in the buttocks, lower back pain, and shooting pain that radiates down the legs.
Treatment of Spondylolisthesis
Spondylolisthesis is not always considered a serious disease and can often be treated without the need for surgery. Those suffering from mild cases can be easily treated by doing physical therapy exercises, such as practicing spinal decompression, to help strengthen the back muscles. Spinal decompression helps to realign and straighten the spine, giving relief to pain and stiffness. The pain can also be managed with the use of over counter medication such as ibuprofen or by wearing a back brace.
When to See a Doctor
If a patient is experiencing chronic lower back or leg pain, it is important to speak with a doctor to receive a proper diagnosis and to learn about treatment options. In more severe cases, an epidural steroid injection or spinal fusion surgery may be needed if there has been damage to any of the nerves in the spine. If left untreated, permanent damage such as leg paralysis may occur. A screening by a qualified doctor will help to determine the best treatment for a patient.