Spondylolisthesis treatment — types of drugs and medications used to alleviate pain

Spondylolisthesis is a degenerative spine condition in which the discs of the spine slowly deteriorate, allowing a vertebra of the spine to shift from side to side or to slide in front of the vertebra below it. While this condition could develop with no symptoms, if the shifting vertebra impacts a nerve root in the spinal canal, the patient will experience symptoms of chronic and radiating pain.

If you have been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis, you should consult your physician about the treatment options available to you. Many patients with mild cases of spondylolisthesis find pain relief through conservative methods of treatment, such as physical therapy and pain medication. Often, pain medication is prescribed in conjunction with physical therapy and chiropractic care in order to increase the effectiveness of the therapy. Collaborate with your physician about whether or not you would be interested in trying pain medication to treat your spondylolisthesis, and what type of medication you think would work best for your needs and lifestyle.

Types of pain medication

Over-the-counter or prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often the first line of defense when it comes to spondylolisthesis treatment. These drugs, such as naproxen and ibuprofen, work to block inflammation-inducing enzymes and relieve mild to moderate pain.

While NSAIDs often work effectively for mild forms of spondylolisthesis, some patients may require stronger medication for their condition. For patients who require spondylolisthesis treatment methods that can combat severe pain, narcotic pain medication may be prescribed. Also known as opioids, these drugs bind to the opioid receptors in the central and peripheral nervous system to block pain signals. The most common forms of narcotic pain medication prescribed are morphine and codeine. Because these drugs are strong and can be habit-forming, physicians typically prescribe these medications only to patients who are in severe, debilitating pain.

You should always consult your physician before changing your medicinal routine. Talk to your physician if you are experiencing unwanted side effects of your medication, or if you would like to try a different method of treatment.

Surgical treatment

Drugs and medications used to treat spondylolisthesis will only treat the pain and symptoms associated with the condition; they will not treat the source of the condition. As a result, some patients may require surgery to realign and restore stability to the spine.

If your physician has asked you to consider surgery to treat spondylolisthesis, you should research all of the surgical options available to you. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back fusion. Our minimally invasive stabilization procedure realigns and stabilizes the spine by removing the diseased disc and replacing it with an implant. Unlike traditional open back fusion that requires a large incision and cuts through the muscles surrounding the spine, our minimally invasive stabilization surgery is performed through a small incision of about an inch and does not disrupt the surrounding muscles or soft tissue.

To learn more about the incredible advantages of Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive surgery, please contact our Care Team. Our procedures have earned a 96 patient satisfaction score^, and we are confident that we can help get you back to the life you love by treating your spondylolisthesis.