How can Spondylolisthesis be Treated?
Spondylolisthesis is treated with the following:
• The patient is asked to avoid activities, which can put stress on the lower back.
• Painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen reduce the lower back pain and inflammation of the muscles. Epidural cortisone injections are recommended for patients who do not benefit with NSAIDS.
• Back brace or back support may also help in reducing the pain by restricting back movement.
• Most of the patients benefit from physiotherapy. These exercises strengthen the back and abdominal muscles and minimize bony movement of the spine.
• Periodic X-rays are necessary to determine any improvement or worsening of the condition.
• Surgical treatment is recommended for severe conditions which cannot be treated with a non-surgical procedure, and if the nerve compression is causing severe symptoms. There are two kinds of surgical procedures followed to treat spondylolisthesis.
Decompressive laminectomy: In this surgical procedure the part of the bone pressing on the nerves is removed.
Spinal fusion: In this surgical procedure, the lower lumbar vertebrae are fused to the sacrum, thereby providing stability to the lower back.
Some steps that could prevent the development of spondylolisthesis are:
• Perform stretching and strengthening exercises of the lower back and the abdominal muscles, which help support and stabilize the lower back.
• Avoid sports or activities that can stress the lower back.
• Switch to a healthy diet to maintain a healthy weight. This will help to put less pressure on the lower back and maintain healthy bones.