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What Is Spondylolisthesis?

What Is Spondylolisthesis?

A spondylo-what?! Spondy-lo-lis-thesis is the forward displacement of a vertebra, especially the fourth or fifth lumbar vertebra, most commonly occurring after a fracture. Backward displacement is referred to as retrolisthesis. The vertebra “slips,” most commonly in the lower back or lumbar spine. The amount of forward slip can vary from mild to severe. I see many women with this condition, due to severe “sway back” or too much curvature in the lower back. It is also a noted condition that occurs in many gymnasts or athletes who perform hyperextension maneuvers. Older adults can develop spondylolisthesis, because wear-and-tear on the back leads to stress fractures. It can also occur without stress fractures, maybe due to severe degenerative changes.

Symptoms include generalized lower back pain with intermittent shooting pain from the buttocks to the posterior thigh, or numbness and tingling in feet or lower leg via the nerve. Coughing and sneezing can intensify the pain. An individual might also note a “slipping sensation” when moving into an upright position. Sitting and trying to stand up might be painful and difficult. This condition is not necessarily reversible but needs to be managed in order to limit pain and further forward translation of the vertebra. Maintenance treatment is necessary to manage this condition.


Effective Treatment for Spondylolisthesis

Joint realignment or manipulation by a trained chiropractor • Muscle balance treatments to improve postural strains • Core strengthening • Natural anti-inflammatory such as Boswellia or turmeric • Ice packs for acute pain and hot packs for chronic pain • Electrical nerve stimulation • Computerized spinal decompression therapy • Inversion therapy


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Jake Morgan  DC




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I was suffering excrutiating shoulder pain for over a month and could not sleep at night due to pain. I went to see Dr. Morgan and he pinpointed the cause as ‘frozen shoulder’ and recommended a treatment regimen that would help me avoid surgery. After the first 2 weeks, the pain was manageable…By the end… Read more “T. Anderson”

Before I started my treatments with Dr. Morgan I had a hard time standing up properly due to muscle cramps as well as a stiff and sore neck. After several treatments with Dr. Morgan, I can walk longer distances without pain and I no longer have neck pain or cramps in my back. I would… Read more “J.R. Shirley”

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