Almost everybody in the world is going to suffer from back pain at one time or another in their lives. In fact, “back pain” is a very general term for a condition that is deep and varied. While one person’s back pain – say a factor work that bends and lifts heavy objects all day – could be caused by repetitive stress, another person’s back pain could be caused by a strained muscle or spinal damage. The spine is, of course, the nerve center of the body. If you have ever hurt your back, you understand that you don’t realize how much each movement of your body – from nodding your head to wiggling your little toe – actually employs your back until each of those movements become aggravating or painful. This is why it is incredibly important to do all that you can to prevent back pain or injury, and when back pain does flare up, that you see your doctor or chiropractor to quickly get a handle on the problem.

For example, what you consider common back pain could be a condition like spondylolisthesis. Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a bone in the lower part of the spine slips and lands on the bone below it. If you are suffering from spondylolisthesis you may immediately know it due to the severe pain that accompanies the condition, or you may simply feel mild pain or discomfort in the area of your lower back. Spondylolisthesis is a very serious ailment, and though it presents itself with varying
levels of pain or discomfort, should be treated immediately to prevent further back pain or even loss of mobility.

Have you ever seen a person with a condition known as swayback or roundback? These people are likely to be suffering from the later stages of Spondylolisthesis. Both conditions are disfiguring, so anyone who thinks he or she might be suffering from more than just a temporary and very minor muscle strain should be checked for Spondylolisthesis and other similar injuries as soon as possible after the pain begins.

The symptoms of spondylolisthesis include, obviously, lower back pain, tightness of the back or hamstring muscles, thigh or buttock pain, stiffness of movement, and tenderness in the lower back. If your spondylolisthesis is severe, it may even result in nerve damage to the areas controlled by the lower spine (i.e. the lower body, such as the legs.) if you have a back injury and are now feeling tingling, numbness, weakness or other changes in sensation in your lower body, you may very well be suffering from nerve damage due to spondylolisthesis.

So what do you do if you suspect you have spondylolisthesis? Visit your primary care physician. He or she may very well recommend you to an orthopedist, who will likely assign you a variety of treatments. Sometimes spondylolisthesis can be cured with exercise. Patients who stretch and strengthen the area where the spondylolisthesis has occurred can often recover. This may be accomplished with the help of a back brace. If your spondylolisthesis is severe though, doctors might recommend surgery.

Unfortunately, as with any spinal surgery, surgery for spondylolisthesis has a high chance of side effects, including nerve damage and, in the worst case, paralysis. This is why it is very important to observe good back health, avoid strain, and bend at the knees when lifting. A severe case of spondylolisthesis is something that no man or woman wants to have to face. Still, surgery does lead to satisfactory treatment in about 90% of spondylolisthesis cases, so if you are suffering from unexplained lower back pain, get to a physician right away to begin treatment.

Last updated on Mar 24th, 2010 and filed under Musculoskeletal Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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