9 Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a physiological disorder of the body wherein there’s a defect in the spinal area which contributes to the the vertebrae slips out of place, generally forward. This dysfunction prompts the spine to dip forward at the bottom of the back, causing the shape of the spine to become contorted. Generally, this affects the nerves that inhabit the spinal canal by compacting them, causing pain that can extend all over the lower body along with creating other physiological dysfunctions.

Spondylolisthesis can be caused by a number of problems. If a child you know potentially has spondylolisthesis, it can be due to a birth defect, or another injury related due to overuse called spondylolysis–a stress fracture in the vertebral bone. If you’re an adult, the cause can be due to problems related to aging, such as arthritis and a loss of disc elasticity. Other less common causes that can contribute to spondylolisthesis could be a sudden injury to the area that weakens or breaks the vertebrae, tumors, or any disease that weakens the spine. Excessive sports play such as gymnastics or football in both children and adults is another common cause of the condition.

1. Leg pain

Spondylolisthesis can cause leg pain that extends from the buttocks all the way to the feet. It’s one of the more common symptoms, second to back pain and hamstring muscle tightness. It can mimic and cause sciatica pain. Because there are nerve roots in the neural foramen, a space between vertebrae for which nerve roots travel, spondylolisthesis of the particular area causes the vertebrae to compress or completely move these delicate spaces, thereby affecting nerve roots. These nerve roots travel down the leg.

When compressed or pinched, they can cause cause burning, dull, aching pain that runs all over the legs, generally completely down the back of the leg. The pain can also feel like sharp, sporadic, or even like an electric shock. Pain and discomfort may be felt in both legs or only one leg, depending in what direction the condition pushes on the spine. The leg pain is generally acute but can be chronic and can radiate all over the leg, mostly in the back and stretching downward, but sometimes in the front, affecting the knee. If you typically participate in a higher intensity cardio, this may become increasingly difficult, causing a lot of pain–walking instead is recommended. Leg pain can include the upper thigh, as in the next symptom.