Spondylolysis And Spondylolisthesis
The majority of spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis cases occur in the lumbar region of the spine. A degenerative defect in the vertebral arch is called
spondylolysis. If the bony parts of the vertebra separate and one vertebra slips forwards in relation to the one below it, this is known as spondylolisthesis. Find out more about the causes, symptoms and treatments for spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis. Plus, find a range of back supports and braces and products to assist in alleviating back pain caused by spondylolysis.
Anatomy of the Spine
The vertebral column is made up of thirty-three individual vertebra — they are grouped into seven cervical (neck), twelve thoracic (upper back), five lumbar (low back), and five sacral (fused to form part of the pelvis) and four coccygeal bones (also fused, form the tailbone). The column is flexible to aid mobility. It provides bony protection to the delicate spinal cord.
About Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis
- Spondylolysis is a specific degenerative defect in the connection of the vertebra in the spine. Spondylolysis results from a weakness in a section of the vertebra called the 'pars interarticularis', which is a thin piece of bone that connects the upper and lower segments of the vertebra joints. Spondylolysis affects between 3% and 6% of the population and is more often seen in males than females. It is a common cause of back pain for individuals aged under 27 years.
- Spondylolisthesis is a condition where a defect of the spine causes one vertebra to slip forward in relation to the vertebra below it. Degenerative Spondylolisthesis is caused as we age, where bones and joints of the spine become weak and are less able to hold the spinal column in place. Isthmic Spondylolisthesis is caused by a small fracture in a piece of bone that connects the two vertebra on the back side of the spinal segment.
Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis Symptoms
- Pain and tenderness unilaterally in the low back, generally an aching pain
- Pain may radiate into the buttock
- Pain is aggravated by activities involving low back extension
- There may be an exaggerated curve in the low back
- Sometimes a step-off notch can be felt in the spine
Treatments for Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis
If you believe you are suffering from spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis, please consult with your medical professional for a complete diagnosis of your back pain. This will involve an X-Ray of the back to confirm the fracture or displacement of the vertebra. Your doctor will then be able to tailor a treatment plan for spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis complaints.
Recommended Back Supports and Braces:
Under the direction of your medical professional and in conjunction with your advised treatment plan, any of the following Thermoskin products are recommended:
- Thermoskin Lumbar Support - provides protection, heat, compression and support to muscle injuries and general lower back dysfunctions. This product has 2 flexible internal stays for additional support and adjustable side straps for extra compression
- Thermoskin Back - provides protection, heat and mild support to muscle injuries and general lower back dysfunctions
- Thermoskin Elastic Back Stabiliser - provides compression and support for general lower back dysfunctions. There are 4 internal stays for additional support, adjustable elastic side straps for extra compression and contains a lightweight breathable mesh knit for ventilation
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