Spondylolisthesis FAQ To Help Understand the Symptoms &Treatment

Spondylolisthesis FAQ

1. Which doctors treat spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is usually treated by an orthopedist. Orthopedics is the medical specialty that deals primarily with the correction or prevention of disorders of a skeleton. These can be problems associated with the bones, joints, muscles or ligaments.

2. What causes spondylolisthesis?

The vertebrae of the spine are connected by small joints that allow for movement of the bones, but at the same time, keep them lined up. Spondylolisthesis is caused by a problem in one or more of these joints. This allows one of the vertebra to move out of alignment. Some of the joint problems that could lead to spondylolisthesis include:

  • A joint problem that developed before birth (congenital)
  • An accident or injury that damaged a joint
  • Wear and tear on the joint that leads to a fracture of a vertebra (stress fracture)
  • Infection or arthritis can damage a joint

3. What are the recommended treatments for spondylolisthesis?

Physical therapy is one of the best treatment options for spondylolisthesis. Exercises to help strengthen the muscles that support the spine are often recommended. Weight loss is often recommended for people who are overweight or obese to remove as much stress from the spine as possible. Pain control is achieved by using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen if tolerated, or acetaminophen.

4. What activities should be avoided if a person has spondylolisthesis?

High-impact activities like jogging and running may stress the lower back and your doctor may recommend avoiding these. Swimming and riding a bicycle don't cause low back stress and may be better suited for people who have spondylolisthesis or are at risk for the disease. Prolonged periods of inactivity are not recommended because this can allow the muscles to weaken which makes the condition worse.

5. What are the chances the pain of spondylolisthesis will return?

The chances the pain of spondylolisthesis will return depends on how severe the condition is. The chances of recurrence of pain are much less in mild cases of the condition that has been adequately treated.

6. Are there long-term complications associated with severe cases of spondylolisthesis?

In severe cases of spondylolisthesis, permanent damage to the nerves may occur with lasting lower extremity weakness or paralysis.

7. Is surgery always necessary?

No, not every case of spondylolisthesis requires surgery. Medication and physical therapy are sufficient to provide relief in many cases.

8. Will I be able to work following surgery?

The answer to the questions depends on the type of job you are involved in. Following surgery for spondylolisthesis, most patients are out of bed and walking soon after the operation, but their activity is restricted for the first month. If your work involves only sedentary activity, you may be able to go back to your job within 4-6 weeks. If your work involves heavy labor, you may need to plan for modifications in your job. Talk this over with your surgeon and your doctor, because they know your unique situation and will be able to answer this question.

9. What are some spondylolisthesis treatment exercises?

There are certain exercises your physical therapist will recommend to help decrease the pain caused by spondylolisthesis.
Some exercises you can do are:
1. Pelvic Tilt
This exercise is done to decrease the pain due to spondylolisthesis by holding the lower spine in a stretched position.
  • Start by lying face up on the floor.
  • Bent your knees and keep your feet flat on the ground.
  • Flatten your lower back against the ground.
  • Retain the abdominal muscles to hold the position.
  • Hold this position for 15 seconds and relax.
2. Abdominal Crunches
Those with spondylolisthesis need to have strong abdominal muscles. If you have weak abdominal muscles, these can often cause pain and instability if you have the condition. You can make your abdominal muscles stronger by doing crunch exercises.
Keep in mind not to force your body to do the full range of motion of this exercise because it may cause additional pain and slow down your recovery.
  • Lie face up on the ground.
  • Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the ground.
  • Fold your arms over your chest.
  • You can also support your head by putting your fingers behind your ears.
  • Lift your head and shoulders slowly off of the floor until you feel your abdominals contract.
  • Hold this position for 3 seconds then slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times.
3. Hamstring Stretch
Spondylolisthesis sometimes causes hamstrings to tense up. Hamstrings are the big muscles that are located on the back of the thighs. Tense hamstrings can increase the pain and discomfort as it pulls on the lower back.
  • Start by sitting on the ground.
  • Stretch your legs in front of you and point your toes pointing to the ceiling.
  • Lean forward and try to touch your toes slowly. It's okay if you can't touch your feet as long as you feel the back of your legs stretching.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 3 times.
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Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

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Temed Holdings
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Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

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Temed Holdings
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Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers