How A Pain Management Clinic Can Help With Spondylolisthesis
Back pains may be caused by several reasons, and one of which is spondylolisthesis. Some 75% of the total population who develop spine bone fractures eventually develop this condition; which is also prevalent among certain types of athletes and affects almost half of the population of gymnasts.
Chronic pain can be very debilitating. In fact, it’s one of the most prevalent reasons for the workplace and school absences among sufferers. As it’s easily confused with other conditions, proper diagnosis is key to minimize the frequency and intensity of the discomfort. Here’s how a trip to the nearest pain management clinic can help you get your pain-free life back.
What Is Spondylolisthesis?
Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that triggers lower back pain. Often, it’s caused by overextending the spine, where one of your vertebrae slips out of place and onto the bone below it or forward—thus changing the shape of your spine.
Pain is typically the result of compressed nerves in the spinal canal and nearby structures.
A trip to the nearest pain management clinic can provide you with the following benefits:
- Give You The Correct Diagnosis
Anyone suffering from pain can go to a clinic such as St Louis Pain Consultants and other healthcare facilities that specialize in managing any type of pain-causing condition.
During your first visit, medical professionals will perform a thorough evaluation of your pain history. This may include conducting several tests that include an overall physical examination, pain evaluation, and diagnostic tests; mostly X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computerized tomography (CT) scan.
An X-ray will suffice for bone fractures while the other two are used to look clearly into the soft tissues around the bones and pinpoint potential back pain causes other than spinal problems.
A personal interview will also be conducted to find out about your pain history, your current treatment measures, and how the pain interferes with your daily activities.
- Get You The Most Ideal Specialist
Depending on the source of pain and the severity of discomfort, you may be referred to different medical specialists who specialize in specific areas of the body.
For instance, if the pain may be caused by diabetes, an internist could be taking your case. If your chief complaint has something to do with joint pain caused by arthritis, a rheumatologist is your new best friend.
Similarly, other medical specialists present in the clinic may include neurologists and psychiatrists, as well as anesthesiologists and orthopedists.
Physiatrists, physical and occupational therapists, chiropractors, and acupuncture therapists may also be present. Apart from providing alternative pain management options, these healthcare professionals can help patients with pain reduction tips such as strengthening their lower back.
- Discuss And Provide The Best Pain Management Options
There are a few options when it comes to pain management. Often, they’re hinged on several factors: the severity and frequency of pain, its causes, your age, and how your body responds to the treatment. For spondylolisthesis, healthcare providers will also look at the level of slippage.
There are both non-invasive and surgical methods to manage pain caused by spondylolisthesis.
Nonsurgical Treatments For Spondylolisthesis
Nonsurgical treatments include:
- Rest: Taking a break from activities that may have caused pain in the first place prevents your condition from getting worse. But since you shouldn’t stay immobile, too, your pain management consultant will provide some suggestions on how to rest actively—for instance, by swimming and cycling.
- Oral medication: If you suffer from minor to moderate pain, you may be asked to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other stronger medications prescribed by your specialist.
- Injectable medications: In most cases, though, both oral and injectable pain medications are recommended for persons with spondylolisthesis. These steroid-containing injectables are directly administered into the affected area to provide relief.
- Physical therapy: A physical therapist can create a treatment plan for patients. Your therapist may include stretching exercises that can both relieve pain and strengthen your abdomen and back. Perform correctly and on a daily basis, since these exercises are capable of relieving pain after a few weeks.
- Back braces and other supportive devices: At home, the patient can use back braces and other supportive solutions to stabilize the spine. These tools are especially helpful for patients who’ve had fractures. Additionally, braces can reduce pain for some patients.
Alternative options such as electrotherapy, massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic care may also target the symptoms of spondylolisthesis.
If despite the non-invasive treatments, you still have severe or high-grade spondylolisthesis, you may need to undergo spondylolisthesis surgery.
While athletes are more vulnerable to spondylolisthesis, non-athletes may also develop the condition. Apart from excessive physical exertion, genes and age may play a role in the development of this spine deficiency.
No matter what you do and the stage you are in your life, suffering from chronic back pain shouldn’t prevent you from doing the things you love. For this reason, a pain management clinic and its specialists can help you address your lingering body pains immediately.