Spondylolisthesis is a common cause of back pain in young athletes. It begins as a stress fracture in part of a vertebra (spondylolysis). Without treatment, the fracture can get worse over time and causes the vertebrae to slip out of place. The spine should move like a snake moves; in spondylolisthesis, one vertebra “wobbles” with movement over the next vertebra. Spondylolisthesis is more common in athletes who hyperextend or twist their backs, but it can also occur in non-athletes.
If you are an athlete who experiences low back pain that doesn’t go away, you should always see a spine care expert. Earlier care can mean a faster recovery and fewer problems.
To diagnose spondylolisthesis, your physician will first ask about your physical activity and your pain. They will want to know when the pain gets worse and when it gets better.
They will also perform a physical exam. They may ask you to walk or perform other simple motions to uncover possible back problems. Your doctor may also order imaging tests like an X-ray done in special positions and an MRI. These tests help your doctor pinpoint the cause of problems and identify any stress fractures in the spine that could lead to spondylolisthesis.
The experienced team at The Spine Care Center provides personalized care for spondylolisthesis. Our spine care experts provide an accurate diagnosis so you can receive the right treatment. Their outstanding skills and care have earned them repeated recognition as Top Doctors in both Washingtonian magazine and Northern Virginia Magazine.
Your care may include nonsurgical treatment such as:
You may need steroid injections or other interventional procedures to relieve your pain. If you have severe spondylolisthesis, our skilled spine surgeon can perform a spinal fusion to bring the vertebra in line and prevent future problems. However, surgery is rare and can likely be avoided, especially with early diagnosis. Most of our patients find back pain relief without spine surgery.
With proper rest and treatment, you can find relief from back pain and get back to the activities you love. Call The Spine Care Center in Manassas today at (703) 257-2266 or request an appointment online.