How I Cured My Spondylolisthesis Naturally?
Spondylolisthesis is a potentially debilitating spinal condition. It develops when one of the vertebrae of the spine slips out of its proper position and settles on the vertebra beneath it. The misaligned vertebra can cause persistent back pain and neurological symptoms.
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If you’ve been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis, you may be concerned about the possibility of undergoing surgery. But, is it possible to cure spondylolisthesis naturally? We’ll explore this topic below.
Is Natural Treatment of Spondylolisthesis Possible?
To return the misaligned vertebra to its normal position in spondylolisthesis patients, surgery is necessary. Non-surgical treatments can’t alter the position of the vertebrae. However, natural treatments may alleviate the symptoms of spondylolisthesis in many cases.
Natural treatments of spondylolisthesis that may help resolve the disease symptoms include:
- Physical therapy
Physical therapy is considered one of the most effective non-surgical treatments for spondylolisthesis. It works by strengthening the muscles that support the spine, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, and improving spine flexibility. Your physical therapist can also help improve your posture, which significantly improves spondylolisthesis symptoms.
- Chiropractic care
Chiropractic care is a form of integrative medicine that centers around the neuromusculoskeletal system. Chiropractors can provide manual adjustments to improve the alignment of the spine and promote the body’s self-healing processes. This may help treat symptoms of nerve compression caused by spondylolisthesis.
- Lifestyle changes
Certain lifestyle changes can help improve spondylolisthesis symptoms. For one, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight reduces the amount of impact on the spine with daily motions.
Weight loss strategies including a balanced diet and regular exercise routine can also help improve the overall health of your spine. Low-impact exercise, in particular, helps strengthen the back muscles that support the spine while promoting circulation and improving flexibility.
Can Spondylolisthesis Heal Itself?
As we mentioned in the previous section, surgery is required to return the misaligned vertebra to its prior position. The body can’t do this on its own.
However, especially in young, otherwise healthy individuals, resting and engaging in non-surgical therapies can resolve spondylolisthesis symptoms. Surgery is generally only required in severe spondylolisthesis cases that don’t improve despite several months of conservative treatment.
How Long Does Spondylolisthesis Take to Heal?
The amount of time that spondylolisthesis takes to heal largely depends on the patient’s age and the severity of the condition. For example, kids and teens with mild to moderate spondylolisthesis generally heal within three to six months (with rest, physical therapy, and bracing, if needed).
In adults with degenerative spondylolisthesis, the spine takes longer to heal. Patients will likely need to keep up with activity modifications, physical therapy, and other conventional treatments for several months to experience results. Additionally, patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis may be advised to permanently avoid activities that put the spine at risk.
What Should You Not Do With Spondylolisthesis?
Certain activities can make spondylolisthesis worse and should be avoided by patients with this diagnosis. These activities generally include high-impact sports, such as gymnastics, football, diving, and competitive swimming, as well as weightlifting.
In addition to physical activities that can strain the spine, spondylolisthesis patients should avoid having poor posture. With poor posture, the spine is out of its proper alignment, which increases the impact on the spinal structures and tissues.
Does Sitting Aggravate Spondylolisthesis?
While sitting isn’t a cause of spondylolisthesis, it may worsen the symptoms of this condition. Spondylolisthesis patients may experience pain flare-ups when sitting for prolonged periods.
You’re more likely to experience spinal pain if you’re sitting in a twisted, hunched, or slouched position. The best way to sit with spondylolisthesis is to keep your spine neutral, with the lower back entirely supported by the back of the chair.
If you have a sedentary occupation, consider investing in a desk chair with excellent lower back support. Try to keep your head in line with your spine as you’re working, not bent forward toward the computer screen.
Does Walking Help Spondylolisthesis?
Spondylolisthesis is commonly recommended for spondylolisthesis patients. As a low-impact form of exercise, walking is an excellent way for patients to retain muscle strength and joint mobility without straining the lumbar spine.
Spine specialists often recommend that spondylolisthesis patients start with short daily walks. Make sure to maintain a neutral, aligned spine as you walk. To prevent spondylolisthesis symptoms on your walk, start with five-to-10 minute walks, increasing the time gradually as recommended by your doctor or physical therapist.
The Importance of Timely Doctor Appointments in Spondylolisthesis Treatment
Spondylolisthesis can progress over time, making it crucial to receive prompt treatment. The longer you wait to receive spondylolisthesis treatment, the more likely you are to develop a severe form of the condition.
Timely doctor appointments for spondylolisthesis can also help you heal with conservative treatment, such as physical therapy, rest, and lifestyle modifications. Patients who don’t seek out timely care may eventually require surgery to resolve their symptoms.
Surgery Options for Severe Grades of Spondylolisthesis
Patients with severe spondylolisthesis generally require surgery to relieve their symptoms. The typical procedure used for spondylolisthesis is a laminectomy paired with spinal fusion or spinal fusion alone.
Laminectomy involves surgically removing some or all of the lamina, which is a section of bone that covers the back of the spinal canal. Removing a portion of the lamina can alleviate nerve compression triggered by spondylolisthesis.
Spinal fusion is done to resolve spinal instability in spondylolisthesis patients. Unfortunately, in permanently fusing the affected vertebrae, this procedure also eliminates all motion in the fused segment. This can create multiple issues, including lost mobility, adjacent segment degeneration, and muscle atrophy.
Spinal Fusion Alternatives For Spondylolisthesis
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Innovative spine devices have been developed to allow patients to avoid the downsides of fusion. One such device, the TOPS System, is designed for patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis in the lumbar spine. It stabilizes the spine while allowing for full motion at the operative level.
While many spondylolisthesis patients can heal naturally, others will require surgery to make a full recovery. In either case, make sure to schedule an appointment with a local spine specialist to receive prompt treatment.