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Retrolisthesis is a dysfunction of the joint that occurs when a vertebra in the back slips backward underneath or along a disc. It occurs in the neck or shoulder area known as the cervical spine, in the lower back knows as the lumbar spine, or in the stomach region known as the thoracic spine. The slippage has to be over 2 mm for it to be categorised as retrolisthesis. This is a rare occurrence as compared to the commonly occurring spondylolisthesis, which happens when a vertebra shifts forward.
It can occur due to several causes like arthritis, injuries like trauma and fracture to the spine, weakness of muscles in the spinal area or the abdomen, rickets, and osteoporosis, bones infections, genetic defects, blood infections, etc.
The symptoms of Retrolisthesis depend on factors like the spot where the movement has occurred and your overall health. Some of the most common signs to look out for include:
Once you detail your symptoms to the doctor, she/he will review your medical history and general health. If she/he suspects Retrolisthesis, you will be recommended a lateral X-Ray. This will give the doctor a clear picture of the changes in the vertebrae and how far has the slippage happened. X-Rays can help in outlining additional symptoms that may not be apparent during the physical examination.
If the X-Ray fails to give conclusive outcomes, Retrolisthesis radiology will be suggested to assess the presence of the condition.
Retrolisthesis is a degenerative condition that cannot be cured. The treatments are designed to cure patients of the pain and discomfort that they experience and to manage the symptoms.
Depending on certain factors like the grade of retrolisthesis affecting you, risk of progression, and the severity of the condition your doctor will advise the best line of treatment. Your doctor will also assess retrolisthesis contradictions and while deciding the treatment. Some of the most common ways to treat retrolisthesis include:
For Retrolisthesis, physiotherapy is considered to be one of the best lines of treatment. Combinations of exercises help in not only enhance the strength of the muscles but also in improving muscular balance, flexibility, and mobility, and offering relief from pain. This includes the use of manual, exercise, and electrotherapy.
Physiotherapists create customised Retrolisthesis exercise plans that include:
Additionally, physiotherapy also goes a long way in preventing further degeneration of the condition by educating patients about posture, ergonomics, and lifting techniques. Your therapists will advice and train you on:
An experienced physiotherapist is critical in the effective management of Retrolisthesis. In the absence of a dedicated therapist, it is difficult to design and maintain an exercise plan for yourself. The critical role played by a therapist includes:
Portea, amongst the most credible healthcare companies in India, that brings compassionate care right to your home, makes accessing healthcare easy and affordable, especially for conditions like Retrolisthesis:
Some ways in which we help you heal faster include:
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