Spondylolisthesis refers to the anterior (forward) or retro (backward) displacement of a bone present in the vertebral column. This displacement can lead to the misalignment of vertebral bones, this is not like a herniated disc, but the condition can coexist. In spondylolisthesis, usually bony vertebra slips while in herniated disc, soft interior of the spinal disc slips, in some cases it bulges through a tear in the disc’s outer layer. The spinal deformity is of different types such as degenerative spondylolisthesis
, pathogenic, congenital, and traumatic and results in lower back pain. Among children, it is a result of traumatic injury or birth defect and in adults, it is a result of natural wear and tear because of aging and arthritis.
Dr. Charla Fischer states that the symptoms of spondylolisthesis vary in severity depending on the cause and location of the injury. Symptoms include:
- Mild to severe back pain
- Tenderness around slipped disc area
- Muscle tightening or spasms
- Stiffness on the back
- Weakness in legs and feet
- Pain in thighs and buttocks
Spondylolisthesis treatment may depend on the severity of the condition. Dr. Charla Fischer
first recommends non-surgical treatments such as mild exercises, massages, heat therapy and anti-inflammatory medication for reducing pain. If the condition does not improve through physical therapy then surgery is advised to relieve the pain and stabilize spinal bones that have slipped from their position.
Lumbar disc herniation can be the result of sudden trauma, such as an athletic injury or simply lifting a grocery bag in wrong way. It can also be a cause of poor body mechanics. People at the age group between 30-50 years are more prone to this problem because flexibility and regenerative ability reduce as we age. The symptoms are excessive leg pain, nerve pain, numbness, weakness and tingling in the leg, foot and toes. This condition can lead to foot drop too.