Though Spondylolisthesis sounds like a disease you would need a vaccine for – it’s actually a musculoskeletal condition defined by a fracture in the arch of one vertebrae in your spinal column, coupled with forward displacement on the one below it. How does this occur? Spondylolisthesis often occurs due to a congenital abnormality in your neural arch (the spinal column’s opening that encloses your discs and spinal cord). The main mechanism of injury for this condition is a forceful hyperextension of the lumbar spine but also can be the underlying cause of chronic low back pain that may or may not have symptoms that travel all the way down the leg(s). The most common level of the spine where a spondylolisthesis is found is the L5-S1 segment – think right where your low back meets your pelvis.
How do you know if you have a spondylolisthesis and what on earth do you do about it? We’re glad you asked. There are four classifications for the severity and treatment of a spondylolisthesis.
Grade 1: 0-25% forward slip
Grade 2: 25-50% forward slip
Grade 3: 50-75% forward slip
Grade 4: >75% forward slip
X-rays, CT scans and MRI reports are all helpful in diagnosing spondylolisthesis and its severity. Spondylolisthesis – grades 1 and 2 are able to be treated non-surgically with physical therapy. Grades 3 and 4 require surgical stabilization to fixate appropriately. The skilled physical therapists at Horizon Physical Therapy are trained and ready to treat your pain by eliminating muscle guarding, improving your posture by eliminating excessive lordosis of your spine, and stabilizing your core to decrease the risk of future injury.
If you have any further questions about how Horizon Physical Therapy can eliminate your back pain, please don’t hesitate to contact our clinic today!