Spondylolisthesis of the lumbar spine: symptoms, treatment
Spondylolisthesis of the lumbar spine is a disease characterized by the displacement of the vertebrae relative to each other. The deformation occurs horizontally and in all departments of the spine, therefore the clinical picture and treatment of spondylolisthesis affecting the lumbar spine differ from symptoms and methods of treatment of the cervical.
As the disease develops
Typically, this pathology is associated with changes in the structure of the spine. The upper part of the vertebrae slides off of the lower vertebra. Despite a degenerative phenomenon spondylolisthesis of the lumbar spine can be cured by a conservative. In rare cases requires surgery.
A disease of this type is mostly asymptomatic, it is revealed by the examination. The patient may not complain of pain in the lumbar region, and cervical vertebrae do not make themselves known. There are times when the patient feels pain in the affected location, which tend to give to the limbs. There are numbness and muscle spasms.
In some cases, spondylolisthesis is showing symptoms, when it flows along with the main disease, osteochondrosis, for example. Shifted vertebrae, for various reasons: it may be a congenital defect or a consequence of spinal injuries. That is called spondylolisthesis a condition where the intervertebral joints for whatever reason don’t hold the vertebral body in the correct position. In the case spondyliosoma spondylolisthesis the clinical picture is complicated by the violation of the integrity of the structure of this vertebra (its arc). There are several types of the disease.
Symptoms, signs and treatment of the disease in all people are unique. Dysplastic spondylolisthesis is characterized by the congenital form of the disease. The patient in this case there is hypoplasia of the appendages located across the lower back. Hence is formed a displacement of the vertebra.
Traumatic spondylolisthesis provokes a fracture or any other injury on the part of the leg of the arc. Develop the disease often without the presence of pronounced symptoms. Pathological spondylolisthesis is formed due to bone diseases or the presence of a tumor. As to degenerative disease, the formation is due to the development of osteoarthritis. The disease affects both children and adults.
At an early age spondylolisthesis of the lumbar spine is not accompanied by distinctive symptoms or signs. Diagnosis is possible only after survey. X-ray will show what part of the spine is damaged and what is the stage of the disease.
Causes, risk factors and severity of illness
Damage to the vertebrae in the lumbar is more common diseases the remaining sections of the spinal cord. What can cause disease? The doctors have deduced a number of reasons, which form the displacement of the vertebra. Among them, the disruption of the structure of the spine since birth, the lesions of degenerative-dystrophic nature of the joints, muscles and ligaments of the spine (arthritis, low back pain), tumors of the vertebrae. In addition, the risk group includes athletes who repeatedly injure the spine, and people whose work involves heavy physical labor. Spondylolisthesis develops in people with acute injuries with fractures.
As a rule, are more likely to suffer processes of the joint and arches of the vertebrae. The disease can occur due to sudden lifting of heavy objects or excessive exercise. This is especially true of those who were not engaged in physical labor, and dramatically changed the activity to weight training. People who lead a passive lifestyle, also are at risk. Once they don’t want to overload the joints and muscles. So it is possible to obtain not only the spondylolisthesis, but a sprain. Above it was described several types of pathology that occur in people for various reasons. However, there are true and false spondylolisthesis. The first develops due to improper structure of the articulation of the vertebrae, or from damage to the ligamentous-muscular apparatus of the spine.
Symptoms and signs of disease increase with the increasing extent of the disease. There are only 5 such degrees. They differ only in the offset percentage. For example, on the first degree of the vertebral body being shifted from its natural position to less than 25%. Second degree is characterized by a shift of 25-50%. In the third stage the degree of displacement may reach 75%, in the penultimate over 75%. The fifth stage is the final and talking about complete shift of the vertebra (vertebra slipping completely).
The choice of treatment spondylolisthesis at will depend on the severity of the lesions of the vertebrae.
What ails the patients with a diagnosis of spondylolisthesis
The symptoms are different, but this disease is characteristics. For example, pain in the affected location can be of any severity. The patient may worry or nagging, but tolerable, or intensive, restrictive pain. Weakness and numbness of the limbs (mainly legs) are signs of displacement of the vertebra.
There may be tingling in the legs, sharp pain in the region of the buttocks. Observed dysfunction of the pelvic organs — disorders of the reproductive system (in males), there May be disruption of the bladder.
If the displacement continues for a long time, a person experiences paralysis of the lower extremities. Can decrease muscle mass. Depending on what type of spondylolisthesis is detected, the process may develop slowly or quickly.
In children the symptoms could manifest in the period of physical activity. When the child grows up, therefore, the spine is strengthened. If the disease really progresses in this period, the signs will be distinct. If we are talking traumatic spondylolisthesis, the symptoms occur after the injury vertebra.
To diagnose the pathology is quite simple. For that successfully used x-rays. They allow not only to see the affected vertebrae, but also to determine the severity of the disease.
Treatment of spondylolisthesis consists of two ways: conservative and operative. If pathology is detected and diagnosed in the early stages, conservative treatment is quite effective. It is important that it is comprehensive and coherent with the specialist.
Doctors offer to treat disease by the following methods: the drug effects, therapeutic gymnastics, physiotherapy, orthopedic correction. Medicines in this case not play a major role in the recovery process. They may dull the symptoms, but not cure the disease. Recommended for use as needed pain medication and NSAIDs.
Physical therapy and other treatments
Therapeutic physical exercise and orthopedic correction — that will relieve the patient from spondylolisthesis. The main task of the exercise — strengthening muscles. Exercises are selected in accordance with the severity and individual characteristics of the organism.
Spondylolisthesis of the lumbar spine — a disease requiring prolonged treatment. Therefore, exercises should be coordinated with the physician and be performed regularly. Additional assistant will orthopedic corset or brace. It will keep the spine in the correct position. Of physiotherapy funds can be applied to electrophoresis, phonophoresis, UHF, magnetic therapy, massage, medicinal baths.
Surgery spondylolisthesis at only necessary in extreme cases. Usually it is done at 3-5 degrees of development of the disease. The nature of surgical intervention is to install the metal retainer on the spine. It will hold the vertebrae in normal position, that prevents further progression of the disease.
Spondylolisthesis of the cervical spine has the characteristic symptoms and treatments. The affected cervical vertebra will always be a reason for dizziness, headaches, discomfort in the neck. Treatment should be complex. In addition to medications, patient is prescribed to wear a special orthopedic corset, the execution of complex therapeutic exercises and physical therapy.