FROM OUR EXPERTS
Spondylolisthesis (spaun-di-lo-lie-thee-sis) is a mouthful and is a common cause of low back pain (although it can exist anywhere in the spine, the lumbar spine is the most common area affected). The spinal column is a series of building blocks called vertebral bodies stacked on top of one another. Sometimes these blocks do not line up perfectly. This slight separation in the spinal column is called a spondylolisthesis .
"Doc says I have a spondy-something-or-other. Don't ask me what it is; all I know is that it hurts". Steve tries to explain his low back condition to his friend. But, he finds that he cannot explain what he does not understand. Steve has had back pain for a number of years. Every year the pain gets worse and has now become constant. His doctor sent him for x-rays recently. The x-rays showed a spondylolisthesis with disc degeneration at L5/S1. Steve could not understand his doctor's explanation of the condition. So, now he has pain and has confusion.
No reason to panic and no reason to think the worse; if your child is experiencing low back pain, just take a deep breath and read. And contrary to popular belief, low back pain in children is usually not caused from a backpack full of books. No, a majority of back pain seen between the ages of 10-18 years of age is related to sports. Children who are involved in football, gymnastics, wrestling, diving, volleyball, or racket sports tend to be the most likely kids who will experience back pain. Fortunately, these aches and pains usually go away with good conservative care because they rarely represent a dire problem.
Although dire problems like infections and tumors do rarely occur; thus, a child with low back pain should see a doctor just to be sure. A doctor will ask a lot of questions about what makes the pain worse or better, general health, and other feelings of numbness, pain or weakness. After these questions have been answered, the doctor will test the reflexes, strength...
Last month, the American Pain Society added to its recommendations to health care providers regarding the diagnosis and treatment of low back pain .
In addition, the Society decided to discuss openly procedures that could be risky to sufferers of low back pain, including recommendations on surgery and other invasive therapies.
Unfortunately, there is not a significant body of good evidence to justify unquestioningly embracing these new recommendations. It is difficult to find well-done clinical studies which support the use of a number of the more invasive treatments used for chronic low back pain.
The initial set of guidelines for the management of chronic low back pain were published in "Annals of Internal Medicine" last October. However, these recommendations dealt more with the initial evaluation of a low back pain patient, and included thoughts on what type of x-rays to order in addition to more conservative treatments such as massage/manipulation and exerci...
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