This condition occurs when a lumbar vertebra slips out of place. It slides forward, distorting the shape of your spine. This may compress the nerves in the spinal canal. The nerves that exit the foramen (open spaces on the sides of your vertebrae) may also be compressed. These compressed nerves can cause pain and other problems.
Causes of Spondylolisthesis vary. In children, it is often due to a birth defect in area of the spine. Some people develop this condition because of an overuse injury called spondylolysis, which is a stress fracture of the vertebral bone. In adults, arthritis and the loss of disc elasticity results from aging are the most common causes of spondylolisthesis. Diseases or tumors that weaken the spine can also result in spondylolisthesis.
Symptoms vary from person to person. Many people who have this condition have no symptoms at all. If you do have symptoms, you may experience pain in your lower back, hamstring spasms or pain in your foot.
Typical treatment options depend on the severity and may include rest, medication, back brace and physical therapy.