Man painful lower back

Can Retrolisthesis Be Cured? Chiropractic Care of Retrolisthesis

December 11, 2020

Some conditions are quite common such as migraine. While some are very uncommon such as retrolisthesis. This is a problem that has to do with the vertebra. It’s referred to as joint dysfunction. So the backbone is known to be made up of small bones that make up the vertebrae. This condition has been studied over the years and they have found out that there are different types. It also comes with certain signs and symptoms that help the doctor to diagnose the condition. There are also some possible causes of this condition. We will find out all these later on. One question that people commonly ask is can retrolisthesis be cured? Well, we will talk about the possible treatment for this condition here as well. We will talk a bit about the chiropractic care of retrolisthesis. If you have no idea what that is then you have to keep reading to find out what it’s about.



We already mentioned above that this condition is one that has to do with the vertebra. It’s simply the back slipping of the vertebra. The affected vertebra is known to go back to the side of the intervertebral disc. This could be either above the disc or below it. There are three types of conditions. And the different types are based on how the vertebra is displaced when compared to the vertebra adjacent to it.


The three types are:


  1. Complete retrolisthesis: This happens when the affected vertebra goes backward towards the 2 spinal segments that are below and above.
  2. Partial retrolisthesis: This happens when the affected vertebra goes backward towards 1 spinal segment either above or below it.
  3. Stair stepped retrolisthesis: This happens when the affected vertebra goes back to the spinal segment that is located above it but then goes ahead of the spinal segment that is located below.


The common site of this condition is the cervical spine which is the shoulder and neck region, then the thoracic spine, and then the lumbar spine which is the lower back and the pelvis. It is the work of the doctor to measure the displacement. This is to check for how bad the displacement is. It is usually in millimeters.


There signs and symptoms that come with this condition. The symptoms depend on the health of the patient, the nerve and tissues affected, where the slippage occurs, and also the affected spinal joints. Some of the signs and symptoms that the person can have include:


  • Back pain
  • Uneasiness at just one back of the back
  • Limited motion
  • A bulge at the back
  • Spine distortion
  • Numbness and pain in places like the legs, hips, neck, arms, thighs, buttocks, shoulder


Causes of Retrolisthesis

This condition usually occurs when there is a reduced height between the vertebrae. It could also be because of the reduced height of intervertebral discs. They have tried to find out the reason why the intervertebral discs shorten but the reason has not been found out. But some conditions could cause this. Some of the conditions are:


  • Arthritis because weakens the bones
  • Nutritional deficiencies that would cause reduced materials that would help maintain bone strength
  • Birth defects
  • Traumatic fractures and fractures caused by stress
  • Spine injury and injury to some other parts surrounding the spine
  • Weak core muscles
  • Infections that affect the bone or blood
  • Conditions such as rickets and osteoporosis that weaken the bone


Can Retrolisthesis Be Cured?

When it comes to treating this condition the aim is to reduce the pain and inflammation. This would include quite a few methods depending on how bad the condition is. Take note that surgery would only be opted for when other non-surgical treatments are not effective for you. Well, let’s take a look at some of the nonsurgical options that are available.


They include:


  • Physical therapy that helps strengthen core muscles, the spine, and the back
  • Microcurrent therapy uses currents to reduce the pain, inflammation, and swelling
  • Myofascial release helps improve circulation and then restore muscle tone
  • Applying heat compress to help reduce pain


Let’s now take a look at chiropractic care of retrolisthesis. This would involve decompressing and distracting to help widen the space in the canal. This would help with reducing the intradiscal pressure and also help increase the height of the disc that will relieve pain. The purpose of this manipulation is to pull you apart. With this, there is reduced pain.


When the disc is pressing on the nerve then the doctor will try to reduce the disc herniation. This would help reduce the pain that comes with the pinched nerve. Two protocols can be used. Protocol I would help reduce severe pain that extends way below the knee. While for protocol II the pain is located at the lower back to the leg and then it doesn’t go past the knee.


Your doctor knows which protocol to opt for depending on what he accessed based on the physical examination conducted on you. So when it comes to the treatment you would have to live it up to your doctor. Just ensure that you are well-detailed when it comes to the symptoms that you are feeling. This would go a long way in helping the doctor come up with the diagnosis and then the right treatment option.


So what can you do at home? Well, make sure that you don’t sit for a long time. Also if your doctor recommends a support brace make sure you always wear it. Also, make sure that you take nutritional supplements that would help rebuild the damaged disc cartilage. Also, do simple exercises that would help strengthen the spine. Another thing that you must do is ensure that you are sleeping on a mattress that would support your back well.


So can retrolisthesis be cured? Well, the answer is yes. It can be well-managed. With surgical resection, this can be fixed. And even for some people, nonsurgical options would be able to manage it well.

Can Retrolisthesis Be Cured?