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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


Welcome to the board. Could you tell us a bit more about your symptoms? Do you have low back pain or does it radiate down a leg? How long have you had it?

Spondylolisthesis, for others reading this thread, is a condition where one vertebra slips over the top of the adjacent vertebra. It happens most often at the L5-S1 segment, followed by l4-L5. It can cause low back pain, particularly after exercise and when the back is in extension (bending or arching backward). Sometimes if the slippage is great enough, it can result in a nerve becoming compressed, or "pinched." This results in pain that radiates into the hip and/or leg.

There isn't a way to remedy this situation other than through surgery, but in many cases, patients who have spondylolisthesis are not in great pain. Sometimes patients do not realize they have it, but when they have imaging for some other purpose, the spondylolisthesis is discovered.

The severity of the slippage is graded from 1 to IV with I being the least amount, from 1 to 25%, and IV being the most severe, with the slippage ranging from 75% to complete, 100%. Usually it isn't necessary to do anything if the spondylolisthesis is grades I or II, but it just depends on the degree of nerve decompression that is involved.

Physical therapy is always the first line of treatment. Sometimes the patient can strengthen the back and core muscles to the point that the spondylolisthesis is no longer an issue, and there is no longer the pain associated with it. Sometimes a steroid injection is given to lessen the pain so the patient is able to participate in physical therapy.

I don't think there is any point in seeing a neurologist. He/she would just confirm the diagnosis but would not be able to provide treatment. Are you seeing a spine specialist for your back issues or was this diagnosed by your family doctor?





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