Posted in Awareness, spondylolisthesis

Living with Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis

If you have a low back problem and you’ve been told you have spondylolisthesis, you should learn all you can about it, and the simple measures you can take to protect your low back health.

I have had a back problem since I was 12 when I fell during track practice in jr high school, my foot actually got caught up on a hurdle and I landed on my tailbone.

It didn’t phase me much as a kid, it became really bothersome in my 20s which was in the 1980s and it really seemed to get worse in 2001 after I was rear ended and then pushed into the car in front of me while I was sitting at a red light.

Throughout the years I did what doctors told me, try this and that here do this, no do that some doctors were just rude and just thought because I was in my 20s in the 1980s I was looking for pills. I hate pills. None of them listened to what I was saying.

Those are the doctors I fired. How dare they assume that because of my age I was a drug seeker.

I mean they could have at least gave me an X-ray or MRI of my back they just assumed ……and I was dismissed or offered a cortisone shot and if I refused which I did I was ignored and called a non compliant patient. I swear this went on for at least a year or two.

Also after my car accident it got to where I could hardly hold a cup without it falling out of my hand.

I thought the problem was me. I thought maybe I am not explaining myself or my symptoms right.

If only I could just find the right combination of words, maybe then doctors would understand and listen and not think I am a pill seeker and provide me with the treatment I needed. I’m just asking to look at it take an X-RAY or an MRI DO SOMETHING!

I didn’t want any damn pill, and I sure as hell didn’t want a short of cortisone. I rarely took an Advil let alone any other pill.

Pills always seemed to have more complications connected to them then they were worth.

Yes I was one of the nerds that would read any inserts, or talk to a pharmacist about any meds and often left without the pills prescribed because often the side effects were not worth it at the time.

In the 1980s I was  a young mom who didn’t wanted to feel in the fog, I drove her to school, dance class and just would never chance the effect of a pill to kill my day…..plus my 1st husband was abusive so I had to be on guard at all times.

But that’s a story for another time.

When I finally went to a doctor that actually listened to me I was thrilled she was an Osteopath she gave me exercises that would help the back and muscles, she sent me for an x-ray had me walk and said my gait was off so I got and insert for my shoe that she made foe me free out of foam, she also told me my one leg was 1/2 inch different in length so she made me an insert for heal 1/4 inch thick dense foam, it helped for awhile but didn’t take away all my pain.

I was sad when she moved to another state and she referred me to a PT.

For years my pain was improved but not gone, I followed and completed my exercises daily or a few times a week as I was told by my PT was told it was most likely arthritis , then osteoarthritis but one day in 2005 I was really hurting and my Doctor scheduled me for an MRI vs X-ray as I was having more and more pain.

I was told I most definitely had osteoarthritis but little did I know I had something worse that I didn’t find out for years later, even though it was written in my chart.

I actually had something called Spondylolysis in My L5 S1 area and also above it.

What is spondylolysis?

A spinal disorder in which a bone (vertebra) slips forward onto the bone below it.
Spondylolisthesis risk factors include sports that put stress on the bones in the lower back, such as gymnastics , track and field and football. Genetics may put some people at increased risk.

I was also diagnosed with Spondylolysis – Spondylolysis. Pars defect. Stress fracture. These three terms are used interchangeably, all referring to the same condition. Spondylolysis is a stress fracture through the pars interarticularis of the lumbar vertebrae. The pars interarticularis is a thin bone segment joining two vertebrae. It is the most likely area to be affected by repetitive stress. This condition is fairly common and is found in one out of every 20 people.

What are the symptoms of spondylolysis?

Spondylolysis doesn’t always have symptoms. When it does, the only symptom is usually back pain.

The pain often gets worse with activity and sport, and is more notable when bending backward.

Generally, the pain doesn’t interfere with everyday activities. If it persists, it is recommended to seek medical attention.

It’s very bothersome when I walk more than say a mile. It also hurts when the weather changes.

What are the risk factors for spondylolysis?

Being human and walking upright is the most basic risk factor for spondylolysis.

The natural inward curvature of the lower back puts stress on the pars interarticularis.

Certain sports that involve excessive or repetitive bending backward may increase the risk of spondylolysis.

Examples include gymnastics, football and soccer.

Young athletes may sometimes develop spondylolysis as a result of over use and hyperextension of the lower back. Genetics could also be a risk factor for some people.;

Spondylolysis Diagnosis

If you have long-lasting, localized low-back pain, it could be due to spondylolysis.

An X-ray is sometimes sufficient to defect a stress fracture. However, if pain persists despite rest and physical therapy, additional imaging may be necessary.

Your doctor may need to order an MRI, a CT scan or SPECT scan of spine for a definitive diagnosis.

Spondylolysis Treatment

Spondylolysis treatment focuses on managing the pain and helping you return to your daily activities. This condition doesn’t typically put you at risk for spinal cord injury or nerve damage.

Depending on the degree of pain, treatment options include:

  • Rest/break from sports
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Physical therapy for muscle strengthening and general conditioning
  • A lumbar brace

Surgery to repair the fracture is rarely needed, as the pain is expected to fade over time in most cases.

Surgery for Spondylolysis

Surgery may sometimes be an option for adolescents with lumbar spondylolysis. The fracture can be repaired by using a strong titanium screw. This surgery is done by making a 2- to 3-inch incision in the middle of the lower back. The screw is placed to secure the two sides of the fracture together, providing some compression across the area. Then a bone graft (a piece of bone from elsewhere in the body) could be used to further support the repair.

The surgery takes three hours, followed by two or three days in the hospital for recovery.

I will pass on any surgery unless it’s a must!!!

Your doctor may also recommend a surgical procedure such as spinal fusion if it’s found that spondylolysis has caused your vertebra to slip forward. This slippage is called spondylolisthesis, which is a different but related condition.

Mine has slipped forward and yes it’s a nagging constant all day just about every day pain.

Spondylolisthesis Is Not The Same As A Slipped Disc—But Does Involve Slippage

Slippage is a key element of spondylolisthesis.

They like using the word “slippage” because it conjures up a visual image of what’s happening in the body. He explains, “When you have spondylolisthesis, one of the vertebrae—the bones that make up your spine—slips out of place over another.”

However, it’s not the same thing as a slipped disc.

It’s gotten to the point that, I have lived with so much pain all the time the average person would be in agony and I am still doing what I can throughout my day. I would probably try to run a marathon if I had a totally painful day.

The grades

Grades of Spondylolisthesis:
  • Type I (less than 35%)
  • Type II (25-50%)
  • Type III (50-75%)
  • Type IV (75-100%)
  • Type V (spondyloptosis)

Reference

https://physicaltherapyfirst.com/blog/2020/10/19/spondylosis-spondylolysis-and-spondylolisthesis/

Posted in Arthritis, Awareness, osteoarthritis, Osteonecrosis, Patient Leader, WegoHealth, WEGOHealthAwards, WEGOHealthAwards2020

I Am A Nominee In The WEGOHealth Awards 2020

I am so honored to share that I am a nominee in the WEGOHealth Awards for Best In Show – Community and Patient Leader Hero

#WEGOHealthChat #WEGOHealthAwards #PatientLeader #Osteoarthritis #Osteonecrosis #Grateful www,ChronicallyGratefulDebla.com and  https://avascularnecrosiseducation.com

 

My WEGOHealth Profile Link    Deborah Andio WEGOHealth Profile Link

Voting will begin in July and link will be posted then to vote.

Until then if you wish to nominate me or read about WEGOHealth or take the time to nominate other amazing hardworking Advocates please go to link below

WEGOHealthAwards Vote – Review Nominees – How It Works -The Judges

 

My Nominations

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Posted in Ahlbacks Disease, Arthritis, Avascular Necrosis, Awareness, Blessed, Bone Health, Cardiovascular, osteoarthritis, Osteonecrosis, spondylolisthesis, Thyroid, Uncategorized, Weather, WegoHealth

Reasons Why The Cold Weather Can Affect Your Body

As we finally approach the end of winter the pain has probably began to increase in regards to spondylolisthesis, or any other bone or joint problem.

I have been blessed to have several bone issues.

Bone pain is always worse in winter and long rainy cool spells.

This may just be some odd coincidence, but I believe there are a few possible factors for this increase in the cold months.

Pay attention to the following reasons and see if you also have experienced any of them.

If you have or if you do feel an increase of pain with the cold weather, try to make a few adjustments to combat the following possibilites.

1. Cold weather leads to lazziness.

For me personally, when I sit around more often than not I get extremely tight in the hips and low back area.  I lose stability and strength in areas that are crucial for maintaining good health and providing relief for my low back.

I don’t always want to be active because besides having spondylolisthesis, which alone is so painful I have osteoarthritis and osteonecrosis.

I guess it’s the universes way of saying hey Deb your bones are jacked!

When the temperature drops, those outdoor activities disappear and unfortunately they are replaced by lots more sitting.  Sitting is not good. Our bodies were not meant to sit. Especially if it’s hours at a time.

Daily walks long or short are replaced by computer activities. 

Many other outdoor activities are replaced by sitting and watching them on TV. 

Solution:

I try to stay active as much as possible considering I have several bone issue challenges

Trips to indoor malls , the library, or bookstore , museum Instead of sitting is best.

I haven’t been able to do my favorite outdoor activity hiking since I was diagnosed with osteonecrosis in my knee 4 years ago and I miss it terribly. I hope someday I can get back to it. I have faith.

One of the main things I do is to stay disciplined with my daily workouts well I call them workouts.

I stay as conscientious as I can of how much I sit and try hard to not sit for long periods of time.

Yes there’s days I do but mostly I don’t.

When I work on the computer, I try to get up every 15 minutes or so even if it only involves a quick hip stretch or movement.

No matter how cold it gets outside, I try to stay as active as I can by replacing old outdoor activities with new indoor activities that involve movement.

This has really helped me to avoid cold weather setbacks with my back and often my knee. But don’t get me wrong I still will get some bad days it’s just not everyday or all day.

The worst is when we have long days of extreme cold or that dreaded all day rain that chills you, the back hurts the knee hurts and the entire body hurts .

Sometimes it’s exhausting.

But I try to keep somewhat busy.

Thank goodness for my recumbent bike.

Some days I just do a mile 1-2x a day and that’s ok. Other days I do 3 miles 1-2 x a day.

2. Cold weather can lead to poor eating habits.

Just like in the first example, when you sit around more and become lazy you usually begin to eat poorly. 

Often times shear boredom leads to bad eating habits. That bag of chips or chocolate cake that you usually would ignore in the summer begins to work its way back into your diet.

The cold weather months typically cause people to put on a few more pounds. 

I haven’t put on weight but I can never seem to lose it no matter what I do……thanks hypothyroidism

For many holidays do not help either.  Large amounts of sitting around and eating during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are often to blame for excess pounds.

This leads to a snowball effect of being lazy.  You sit around more which creates the sense of boredom. 

Many people replace being bored with the feeling of hunger , I used to do that.

You then overeat causing the body to feel lethargic and lazy and the cycle continues.

Before you know it you plow through a box of cookies and a bowl of ice cream while you sit and watch six hours of re-runs of your favorite TV show.

Talk about creating a perfect storm!

The entire body then becomes inflamed at least for me it did.

So I changed

I stopped most not all of the processed snacks.

I started eating more plant based but I am not a vegan as I do have fish or chicken 1x a week and eggs a couple times a week.

My pain level dropped a lot but I feel healthier still waiting for the weight to fall off.

The sitting and excess weight reduces the ability to move properly which could create instability, weakness and eventually painful spondylolisthesis episodes.

These habits take the place of the activities you are used to in the warmer months wher you spend more time being active and not thinking about food.

Solution:

I tend to fight this cycle by paying close attention to what I eat and I’m learning to drink-extra water.  I find that providing my body with plenty of water helps to fight those boring food craves. 

This in combination with staying active helps to keep away the extra cold weather added pounds but more important the inflammation that throws pain scale off the chart.

3.Cold weather makes working out and exercising much harder.

I find that when the weather drops workouts tend to become much harder.

Those quick trips to the park or walk in the plaza get harder when you have to scrape ice off of your car for fifteen minutes. It’s a pain to put on 2 layers of clothing just to stay warm on your way to the store really sucks.

My daily workouts are crucial to staying pain free. Without them my body gets weak, tight and doesn’t move the way it should. IPain is quick to follow.

Mentally I do not let myself get down or lazy. If the temperature is freezing outside I stay in and ride the bike more do gentle stretches.

More often than not if I feel like skipping a workout and I just tell myself to replace the workout with a good warm-up and stretch, I get through the stretch and I am suddenly motivated to workout. That workout that I wanted to skip then turns into a great stretch and workout.

I just know when I have pain or have no pain I feel better when I am moving . I can’t do many things I used to but I can learn new ways.

I have noticed that when we stay mindful and not become stagnant in my life i feel better.

And for that

I am grateful

Here’s some stretches I do to help my spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis Exercise

How I get the kinks out

Shoulders and Back

Hmmm love these guys.

Can meniscus tear heal

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Posted in Back Pain, Pars Fracture, Uncategorized

What is Spondylolithesis?

I was diagnosed April 2016 with Spondylolithesis in my L5 S1

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one bone in your back (vertebra) slides forward over the bone below it. …


 This causes me intense back pain and numbness or weakness in one or both legs.
It’s crazy how depending where or how I sit my legs yes both legs go numb

You have pain when you walk, pain when you sit, pain when you stand somedays it’s overwhelming 

I’m a grade one at least I was  in April 2016

Well let’s say since 2012

You see I had a back issue in 2012 went to my former dr

Who ordered Xray on my back, I was told I had OA 

I was never told I had Spondylolithesis or any slippage 

I found out I had Spondylolithesis and a par fracture in 2016 under the care of my new amazing PCP. 
In my opinion if you want better health care see a woman doctor.

A diagnosis for a bilateral pars fracture is scary.

A pars defect or spondylolysis is a stress fracture of the bones of the lower spine. These fractures typically occur due to overuse. They can be on one or both sides of the vertebrae. It is a common cause of low back pain in children and adolescents. The most common cause of low back pain is muscular, secondary to overuse or deconditioning.

A pars fracture or defect-

What causes a pars defect/spondylolysis?
Pars defects are caused by overuse of the low back, mainly from sports that involve repetitive back bend-like motions.  Examples include: gymnastics, football, diving, etc.  Sometimes children are born with a very thin pars area which puts them at increased risk for this injury. 

What are the symptoms of pars defect/spondylolysis?
Initially children may not have any symptoms.  In teens, the main symptom is low back pain that worsens with activity and improves with avoiding the sport/activity that causes repeated back bending.  Symptoms can progress to interfere with normal daily activities. 

How is it diagnosed?
A diagnosis is made with physical exam, x-rays, and occasionally a bone scan.  In some cases a CT scan is needed for further assessment and planning.  

Xray from April 2016 above 

Xray from 2012

A commonly adopted method of grading spondylolisthesis is the Meyerding classification, based on the ratio of [overhanging part of the superior vertebral body] to [anteroposterior length of the adjacent inferior vertebral body]: 
grade I: 0-25%

grade II: 26-50% 

grade III: 51-75% 

grade IV: 76-100%  

grade V (spondyloptosis): >100%

I went to p t a few times for Spondylolithesis in 2016

It helped some but pain never really went away. 

Here are some videos I use at home as well

#Spondylolithesis 

#ChronicLife

#ChronicPain

Bob and Brad Physical Therapists on Spondylolisthesis