Nearly every adult in the U.S. has experienced back pain at some time, and for most people, that pain is transient, occurring primarily after strenuous activity. After a little while – and maybe some gentle stretches – the pain typically resolves on its own. But for some people, the pain can be much more significant, sometimes radiating into the leg or buttocks and often making it painful to walk or even to sit. Often, this type of back pain is due to a condition called spondylolisthesis, which occurs when one of the bones in your spine slips forward over the bone beneath it. The result: Impingement on nerves and other tissues that can cause numbness, weakness or pain – sometimes a dull, throbbing, aching pain, and sometimes a shooting pain down one or both legs – which can make walking difficult and uncomfortable.
Spondylolisthesis can be caused by a number of factors that wind up affecting the joints in your back. Some of these factors include:
- stress fractures
- accident or injury
- birth defects
Weight-bearing sports or activities and just plain wear-and-tear over time can result in tiny stress fractures that can weaken joints and lead to spondylolisthesis.
Once diagnosed, spondylolisthesis is treated with rest and avoidance of activities that could strain your back. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen can help relieve pain, and often, physical therapy may help to build up and stabilize the muscles that help keep your spine properly aligned. An epidural steroid injection may also help alleviate significant inflammation and pain, and you may be prescribed a back brace to keep the spine aligned while small fractures heal. In some cases when pain is persistent and signficiant, surgery may be needed to relieve the pressure on nerves or other tissues.
If you’re having back pain, especially pain that radiates into your buttocks or legs, you need to have it evaluated right away to prevent it from becoming worse. Early treatment means faster recovery. Contact us today at (800) 890-1964 to schedule an evaluation of your back pain.