Spondylolisthesis Treatment and Spondylolysis Treatment

Spondylolysis, a condition where one has a defect in the pars interarticularis (usually a stress fracture) and the condition it often leads to—spondylolisthesis—can both cause pain in the back or neck (depending upon where the damage is) as well as weakness, numbness, tingling and radiating pain if either of these conditions pressures the nerves of the spine.  Stress-fracture induced spondylolisthesis is known as isthmic spondylolisthesis. 

Spondylolisthesis vs. Spondylolysis

Most instances of spondylolisthesis and spondylolysis are in the low-back in the fifth or fourth lumbar vertebrae (L5 or L4) as this area of the back is subject to a high amount of stress, especially if one is involved in sports requiring frequent hyperextension of the back or impact, 

such as gymnastics, football or tennis. This can cause the problematic stress fractures.

Luckily, treatment for spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis usually begins with conservative methods that focus on stabilizing the spine. In some instances, a spondylolysis brace or a spondylolisthesis brace may be employed to this end, along with spondylolisthesis treatment exercises and the use of anti-inflammatory medications.

Lumbar Spondylolisthesis Treatment

The Bauerfeind LumboTrain Back Support is a very popular back brace for L4 or L5 spondylolisthesis treatment as well as a number of other low-back conditions, like sciatica, sacroiliac joint dysfunction or back strain, to name a few. This brace for spondylolisthesis is unique in that it features a nodular silicone insert that stimulates blood flow and muscle activity to reduce inflammation, promote proprioception and encourage healing.

This lightweight, breathable brace for treating spondylolisthesis and spondylolysis   fits easily beneath clothes and it will not bunch or roll up thanks to the compressed knit at the edges of this support.  It also allows for quite a bit of mobility without sacrificing lumbar spinal support.

Another spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis back brace with even more added features is the Cybertech Therapeutic LSO Back Brace. This support can also stimulate the muscles, but it does so via battery operated electrical pulses. In addition, it is equipped to provide battery operated heat and cold therapy in the interests of treating spondylolisthesis, spondylolysis and other conditions that cause low-back pain. (See BraceAbility’s full line of heat, cold and compression therapy products.)

This brace for treatment of spondylolisthesis provides segmented stabilization of the spine and it limits spine movement to prevent further slippage of the vertebra. 

This therapeutic brace is highly adjustable for user comfort. The plush pads of this brace are removable for a sleeker fit and its panels are heat moldable for a customized fit. The compression of this isthmic spondylolisthesis treatment support can be easily adjusted with the brace’s mechanical 5-to-1 compression application mechanical pulley system.

Another brace that features the easy-to-use mechanical pulley system for applying stabilizing compression is the Cybertech 8" Premium-Plus Herniated Disc Back Brace. This support is also available in a 10-inch version as well as bariatric sizes. 

This brace for spondylolisthesis treatments features a chair-back design with tough panels that can be molded to one’s body and removed for a sleeker fit or during back exercises. Also in the interests of customized fit, this brace can be closed at either a 75- or a 90-degree closure and the pulley system means its compression can be easily adjusted for when one is sitting or standing in a matter of seconds.

Treatment for Spondylolisthesis in the Low and Mid-back

While isthmic spondylolisthesis most often occurs in the low-back region, there are instances of spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis in the cervical or thoracic spine.  Degenerative spondylolisthesis, which is characterized by changes in the spine due to aging, can occur in a number of locations. BraceAbility offers several braces for degenerative spondylolisthesis treatment that support both the lumbar and thoracic spine.

The Cybertech Cyber-Max LSO  is one such brace that provides support from the sacrococcygeal junction all the way through the T9 (ninth thoracic) vertebra. This brace is designed to limit the amount of pressure on the discs of the spine while stabilizing and controlling the motion of the back for pain relieving treatments of spondylolisthesis and spondylolysis.  

Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar Spine

This support has a rigid anterior and posterior molded frame and the patented Cybertech mechanical pulley system for customized compression. This brace is also helpful toward preventing a narrowing of the spinal canal from occurring—a condition known as spinal stenosis that is sometimes associated with spondylolisthesis.               

Another pressure-limiting support for the upper and lower back is the Corflex Disc Unloader LSO Back Brace. This support can be used as treatments for spondylolisthesis, sciatica, stenosis, herniated discs and other back conditions. This LSO brace is made of lightweight material and it functions by shifting pressure on the back to the abdominal region. This support has pockets to hold gel packs that can provide cold and hot therapy.

The DeRoyal PROlign® Back Brace is another option for lumbar or thoracic treatment spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis with a unique dial feature for easy, convenient adjustment—whatever your activity.  The brace is made of soft, breathable material with rigid anterior insert for support and to reduce the amount of pressure on the spine. This back brace for unilateral or bilateral spondylolysis treatment is available in both a tapered (female) and a non-tapered (male) design.

Surgical Spondylolisthesis Treatment Options

But not all cases of spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis can be treated via conservative methods. When one is nonresponsive to conservative modes of treatment, surgery may be needed for lumbar, thoracic or cervical spondylolisthesis treatment. This typically involves fusing the vertebrae of the spine together in the interest of stability. A laminectomy may also be undergone to ease coinciding pressure on the discs or nerves of the spine.

In such instances, one may need a brace for both before and after the procedure. The Cybertech Comprehensive Lumbar Sacral Orthosis is a popular choice thanks to its customizable fit, the ease of compression application and its chair-back design. The brand’s mechanical pulley system means it is quick and easy to adjust, and its paneling is covered in soft, plush padding. The brace provides targeted therapy to limit harmful motions, making it an ideal post- and pre-surgery brace. 

The Cybertech Pathway Brace for Lumbar Stabilization is another option for surgery preparation or recovery that comes at an even more affordable price. The posterior panel of this support is anatomically contoured and the anterior panel is low-profile and it includes pockets. This support also features hand straps for ease of use for patients suffering from arthritis.

Always consult a medical professional before deciding how to treat spondylolisthesis.