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What is Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is where one of the vertebrae in your spine slides over the bone below it. It’s commonly found in the lumbar region of your spine, your lower back. In some Spondylolisthesis cases, the bone sliding forward can cause the nerve roots or spinal cord to be squeezed. If this happens, it will lead to numbness and pain in the legs. Of course, this can be incredibly uncomfortable and can really affect your daily life. Thankfully, there are treatments available for Spondylolisthesis that can help reduce the symptoms and help you get back to your normal routine again. We’re going to explore the treatments for Spondylolisthesis in just a moment, but first, let’s take a look at what causes it.

What causes Spondylolisthesis?

There are several small joints in your spine. These joints keep the bones in line but still allow your spine to move in all the ways it needs to. Spondylolisthesis is caused by something pushing one of the bones out of alignment.

There are many causes of Spondylolisthesis, but the most common causes of it are:

  • A joint in your spine damaged by an accident, like a car accident, for example
  • A defective joint that has been present since birth
  • A vertebra with a fracture caused by an overuse of the joint
  • A joint in your spine damaged by arthritis or infection


Spondylolisthesis can affect just about anyone. It affects children and teenagers that are involved in sports like weightlifting and gymnastics. These sports can overuse the bones in your spine, and this overuse can cause small stress fractures to form in the bone. These stress fractures can then cause the bone to slide out of position and cause Spondylolisthesis.

Adults can also develop Spondylolisthesis, however, this is more likely due to a lifetime of wear and tear on the back. Once again, this leads to stress fractures and eventually to Spondylolisthesis. A stress fracture doesn’t need to present for Spondylolisthesis to form. Conditions like arthritis can produce enough wear and tear on its own to cause Spondylolisthesis.

What are the symptoms of Spondylolisthesis?

When a vertebra slips out of position, you may have no symptoms at all for a number of years. Then, abruptly, you may feel a pain in your lower back and bum. This is bone in your spine beginning to press on your spinal cord and the nerve roots in your spine. From there, you may begin to feel the muscles in your legs getting tighter or weaker.

Of course, without any symptoms, it’s easy to think that Spondylolisthesis may not need treatment. As long as there is no pain, the condition is frequently left. However, that doesn’t mean the problem is not there. In our opinion, getting symptoms sooner rather than later is in most cases a good thing. Some of these symptoms will include:

  • Back or buttock pain
  • Difficulty walking
  • Pain starting in your lower back and running down your legs (sciatica)
  • Buttock, back or leg pain that gets worse with certain movements
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control, this only occurs in rare cases

How is Spondylolisthesis diagnosed?

Of course, the symptoms above are not exclusive to Spondylolisthesis. In fact, most of the symptoms above could be caused by any sort of back pain such as slipped discs or arthritis. This is why it’s essential to get your back seen to by specialists, like The Mayfair Clinic.

When you come to us with an issue in your spine, we begin with a spinal consultation. This consultation starts by asking you a few questions. These questions can be as simple as “when did the pain start?” but they help us to understand exactly what lead you to make your appointment with us. From there we will perform a physical examination. This examination is to determine where exactly in your back the pain is coming from. You see, as one of the many symptoms of back conditions is numbness, we need to know that where you are feeling the pain start is actually where it starts.

After your physical examination, we may send you for further tests like X-rays or  MRI scans, unless you have had these tests already. We work with some of the best imaging consultants in the country and get the results back very quickly so we can begin treatment right away. Once we have the imaging test results and we can pinpoint the problem area, treatment can begin.

How is Spondylolisthesis treated?

A traditional way of treating Spondylolisthesis is by manipulations used in chiropractic. These are “clicks and pops” that can help to readjust the spine. However, these traditional treatment techniques carry with them risks and are often rather uncomfortable, they also do not treat the spondylolisthesis directly. They will instead treat the surrounding areas in the hope of easing pressure on the spondylolisthesis.

Here at The Mayfair Clinic, we use all the technology at our disposal to treat the pain caused by Spondylolisthesis. For example, our Spinal Impulse Adjusting treatment gives us a way to target specific parts of the spine to adjust the part of the spinal joint that is out of line. We use this technology to ensure a safe, repeatable and controllable method of treatment. The Spinal Impulse Adjusting device has a sensor that we use to measure how effective the treatment is. All of this means that we can deliver successful treatment results for Spondylolisthesis that have never been seen before.

To ensure an even more successful treatment, we will often use other treatment methods alongside the Spinal Impulse Adjust treatment. Laser Treatment is used to help reduce the pain you are in. Laser treatment increases the circulation of blood, oxygen, water, and nutrients to the target area to promote quicker, natural healing. This treatment is used to help combat the symptoms of Spondylolisthesis rather than what is actually causing the symptoms. The real secret to the successful treatment is to understand the unique set of circumstances that have caused the damage in the person’s spine. This means that different cases will have different treatments at different times and in different combinations, something that ensures you get the best possible results.

We understand just how much back pain can affect your life and so it is our job to help relieve the pain and get rid of the condition causing the pain as quickly as we can. By using the treatments above, we can help you get your life back on track quickly. To find out more about these treatments for Spondylolisthesis, please use the contact buttons below.

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