How can Spondylolisthesis be Treated?
Treatment of spondylolisthesis depends upon the severity of the condition. Milder conditions can be treated with exercises and physiotherapy, while surgery is recommended for the extreme conditions.
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.
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