Home Blog Coast Chiropractic Centers Director, Dr. Tim Harcourt, Was Asked By A Villas Resident, "Spondylolisthesis – What Is That"?

Coast Chiropractic Centers Director, Dr. Tim Harcourt, Was Asked By A Villas Resident, "Spondylolisthesis – What Is That"?

Aug 23, 2021 -- Posted by : Dr.Harcourt

Spondylolisthesis, or a slipped vertebra (as opposed to a slipped disk or herniated disk), describes when one vertebra slips or slides forwards on the vertebra below, which can occur for a number of reasons including getting older (“degenerative spondylolisthesis”) or trauma (from a fracture in the back of the vertebra called the “pars interarticularis”). Additionally, one can be born with it (congenital), or spondylolisthesis can occur early in life while the spine is still developing. The most common method of measuring the amount the vertebrae slides forwards is done by the percentage of slip (such as 50% is when a vertebra has slid forwards halfway over the adjacent lower vertebra).

This can happen anywhere in the spine (the neck, mid-back, or low back), but it is most commonly seen in the low back, particularly at the lowest levels (L4 and L5). This occurs in about 3-6% of the population; however, in certain populations, the incidence rate can be three times (or more) higher. For example, certain Inuit populations carry their babies vertically in a papoose that overloads the child’s young spine during development, which results in a greater prevalence of spondylolisthesis among that group.

Some studies report that spondylolisthesis usually develops at a very young age, and certain pelvic alignment findings may contribute to whether it is likely to occur, such as a “swayback” posture (increased sacral slope).

An interesting study looked at how often spondylolisthesis is found in subjects with NO low back pain. Researchers reviewed 510 cases of patients presenting with abdominal pain and other non-spine-related complaints and found spondylolisthesis in 16 cases (3.1%).

So there you have it! If you have spondylolisthesis, you may have 1) No back pain, 2) Pain related to something entirely different and separate from it; or 3) Pain directly related to it.

In some cases, the cause of a patient’s back pain may be due to spondylolisthesis caused by an unexpected backward bend of the lower back (like a slip and fall, sports injury, etc.) with immediate pain that increases with backward bending. However, in many cases, a patient may present with spondylolisthesis that is stable, old and has nothing to do with their present complaint. Thorough case history and examination will indicate which is more likely the case so that treatment can focus on the likely cause of the patient’s pain.

We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs. If you, a friend, or a family member requires care for back pain, we would be honored to render our services.

So, if you are experiencing back pain and type in pain management near me, you may find Coast Chiropractic Centers with Dr. Timothy Harcourt, me, comes up. 

You may wonder, “Do I need an MRI scan of my back.”

Also, if you feel leg pain it may indicate things are getting worse and may indicate a bulge on the disc or worse yet a herniated disc in your back.  Some people will try stretching the lower back first to see if they get relief.  Pain very low in the lower back may be originating from the coccyx or tailbone.  A pulled muscle in the back generally will get better with rest.  Persistent or worsening pain intensity and/or frequency necessitates a visit to see a professional. 

Call me, Dr. Tim Harcourt, at (239) 278-3344 and mention this article for an awesome discounted first visit to include history, exam, and adjustment or Class IV high-intensity laser treatment.


Most Recent Posts

Easing the Burden: Chronic Pain Management with Chiropractic

Explore effective chiropractic strategies for long-term management of…

Blending Traditions: Integrative Chiropractic Techniques

Explore how combining traditional and modern chiropractic techniques…

Aging Spine: Chiropractic Solutions for Older Adults

Discover how chiropractic care can address age-related spinal issues,…

Boosting Immunity: The Chiropractic Connection

Learn how chiropractic adjustments can boost your immune system and…

On the Mend: Chiropractic Care After Auto Accidents

Discover how chiropractic care aids post-accident recovery, helping…