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It’s hard to say and even harder to spell, but Spondylolisthesis (spon-dih-low-lis-thee-sis) is a spinal condition that occurs when one vertebra becomes displaced on top of another. Sometimes, a defect in the bone itself, called Spondylosis, causes the condition. Generally, this condition occurs in the lumbar region of the spine.

Symptoms include pain in the low back, legs or thighs, muscle spasms and tightness in the hamstrings. There may be nerve damage as well. The condition may be present at birth or develop in later childhood or adulthood. It can result from stress to the spine brought on by heavy lifting, trauma (e.g., sports injuries, gymnastics, football, etc.) or the wear and tear of aging on the spine.

Some people with Spondylolisthesis have no symptoms at all; the condition is diagnosed from an X-ray. Others may develop a waddle, have a protruding abdomen, or develop a shortened torso.

The approach used for this condition may range from “watchful waiting” to something as drastic as fusion surgery. Age, severity of symptoms, and degree of displacement play a large role in determining the recommended course of action.

Chiropractic care has produced some very positive results with Spondylolisthesis, particularly when adjustments are applied to spinal segments directly above and below the one that affected by Spondylolisthesis.

One of the main goals of your chiropractic care, in addition to relieving subluxation, is to build up the muscles that support the affected area, increasing spinal flexibility and mobility. Another goal is to teach ways to avoid overstressing the back so that re-injury doesn’t occur.

Please tell us if you have any of the signs described above. We’re eager to address your concerns and put your mind at ease!

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