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Spondylolisthesis: Causes, Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

How to Recover from Spondylolisthesis Without Surgery or Injections?

Spondylolisthesis is the forward or backward slippage of a vertebra over another. Spondylolisthesis can be found in people with no pain. However, treating a person with lower back pain or neck pain complicated by spondylolisthesis can be challenging as there may be pain coming from different sources simultaneously. Locating major pain generators is essential in providing an effective treatment plan. The majority of spinal problems have several pain sources. Recent research has shown that a multidisciplinary treatment program has a higher success in managing and treating musculoskeletal problems.

 A disc sits in between two adjacent spinal vertebrae. The outer one-third of the disc has nerve fibers that can carry pain signals. Over-stretching or motion of the disc can cause activation of these nerve fibers and results in pain. Inflammation that occurs in the disc and spine can irritate the nerve fibers and cause pain too. 

Irritation of the nerve fibers in the facet joint capsule or the bone near the joint can lead to pain. Stretching of the joint capsule, abnormal loading of the facet joint, or inflammation around the joint may irritate exiting nerve roots. The pain is usually aggravated with neck rotation and extension. People with degenerative spondylolisthesis have extra bone spurs around the joints. The hypermobile joint is more susceptible to nerve root irritation due to narrowing the space where the nerve roots travel through. 

Irritation of the disc or facet joint may result in radicular pain. In the lower back, the pain may travel down into the buttocks or the legs. In the neck, the person may be complaining of a headache or upper back pain. 

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