Time does our bodies no favors and as we age, spinal health becomes a prime area of concern. For seniors with arthritis or other degenerative conditions, there’s a very real fear that the spine will also begin to deteriorate, presenting chronic ailments such as spondylolisthesis.
When minor subluxations of the spine are made worse by age, they require extensive effort to remedy. In the case of degenerative spondylolisthesis, correcting vertebral movement in a way that counteracts slippage means considering the whole picture of a patient’s health. Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) offers a comprehensive profile of a patient, as well as a radiological workup of their spine, to ensure adequate measures are taken to restore spine health.
At Ideal Spine Health Center in Boise, ID, we approach age-related spinal conditions such as degenerative spondylolisthesis with an eye for sustained relief. This means not only providing adjustments back to healthy vertebral alignment, but also correcting postural catalysts that may exacerbate the condition.
Determining vertebral shift
Degenerative spondylolisthesis most often affects the L3 and L4 or L4 and L5 vertebrae. As with most lumbar-associated conditions, patients presenting may complain of lower back pain or sciatic issues. Diagnosis is often skewed in this way and spondylolisthesis can be overlooked in favor of more common conditions.
Thanks to the diagnostic and radiological imaging ordered at the outset of a CBP approach, however, degenerative spondylolisthesis can be more readily diagnosed through visual means. Disc degeneration, slipping vertebrae, and any grinding of facet joints will be eminent on an x-ray.
Patient history can also be critical in qualifying this condition. Preexisting arthritic conditions, for example, could put a patient more at risk for developing translation in the facet joints, contributing to degenerative spondylolisthesis. A CBP-trained chiropractor will look for general medical trends that correspond with spondylolisthesis traits.
Developing a treatment plan
Because degenerative spondylolisthesis narrows the spinal column and compresses nerves, a number of chronic conditions can arise. Alleviating these conditions requires a realignment of the spinal column, which in turn requires a targeted approach.
Measuring the degree of misalignment allows a CBP practitioner to determine the total translation of the affected vertebrae in quantifiable terms. Using this data, realignment can be calculated in reverse. In this way vertebrae are eased back into alignment gently, without disturbing normal spinal conditions in the periphery. Moreover, a slow migration back to homeostasis can prevent unintended damage to already weakened discs.
In addition to adjustments, activity modification is also critical in sustaining realignment. A chiropractor may suggest sitting in the Semi-Fowler position (30- to 45-degree recline) or, for severe cases, in the Trendelenburg position (feet higher than heart). For active individuals, low-impact activities such as stationary biking or swimming may also be recommended.
CBP is about delivering targeted results to every individual patient. Degenerative spondylolisthesis can affect sufferers in a number of ways, which furthers the importance of qualified assessment from the outset. Without CBP, adjustments may be nothing more than an educated guess.
At Ideal Spine Health Center, we don’t believe a guess is good enough. We trust what we can see and feel. If you’re well into your senior years and are starting to feel Father Time taking his toll on your back, don’t wait to seek relief. If caught early, many of the effects of degenerative spondylolisthesis may be minimized. Visit us in Boise, ID today for a free consultation to learn more about the health of your spine.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.