The most common lower back spinal fracture is known as spondylolisthesis. This condition causes pain, disability, and is usually progressive in nature. It often leads to risky spine surgery. Previously, the only way to manage the pain from the condition was through taking addictive medications. When the condition becomes unbearable, these patients often turn to having costly and highly invasive spine surgery. This can have serious, negative consequences. There is now a way to improve that condition through our unique, spinal rehabilitative chiropractic protocol performed at Complete Spine Solutions, Brookhaven and Tucker.

Imagine a vertebra that has slipped out of proper position because the bone is fractured and unstable. This tenuous situation puts undue stress on the spinal cord, nerves, and discs. It causes both pain and current and future instability of the spinal structure. The negative impact this can have on one’s life is very serious. The fear of what the future holds for people with this condition of spondylolisthesis is now a thing of the past. We want to share with you a scientifically-based outcome of a Grade II fracture (25% forward displacement). This will become a groundbreaking case study.



This 20-year-old, athletic male, suffered many health issues. Specific to his lower back fracture were: thigh soreness and weakness as well as cold feet. Patients like him will invest in foam rollers, choose expensive physical therapy treatments. Many times they take highly addictive medications, to no avail. The symptoms always return because the root cause of the problem, the fracture, is still a reality, with no solution.

What is a Spondylolisthesis?

According to the US Library of Medicine, spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a spinal bone (vertebra) moves forward out of the proper position.

What causes a Spondylolisthesis?

The Spine Houses Your Spinal Cord

The Spine-Health Connection

In children, spondylolisthesis usually occurs between the fifth bone in the lower back (lumbar vertebra) and the tailbone (sacrum). It is often due to a birth defect in that area of the spine or acute trauma.

In adults, the most common cause is abnormal wear on the cartilage and bones, such as arthritis. The condition mostly affects people over 50 years old. It is more common in women than in men.

Certain sports activities, such as gymnastics, weightlifting, wrestling (that’s how I probably got mine), and football, greatly stress the bones in the lower back. They also require that the athlete constantly overstretch (hyperextend) the spine. This can lead to a stress fracture on one or both sides of the vertebra. A stress fracture can cause a spinal bone to become weak and shift out of place. Bone disease and fractures can also cause spondylolisthesis.


Our treatment methods

We treated this patient by first stress-testing this vertebrae to see if it would respond to our corrective treatments. When we saw that it would, we began a spinal remodeling protocol. We applied gentle mechanical forces in the opposite direction of the way this vertebra was shifted. Since it was shifted forward, we gently stabilized the areas above and below this segment. Then we applied gentle front to back forces over time, through the abdomen, directly on this vertebra. This non-surgical approach pushed it back into a more normal position through targeted spinal adjustments, custom exercises, and site-specific tractions.


Our Outcome

The results are astounding. We reduced this spondylolisthesis from a significant 25-50% shift down to less than 25%. Moving from a significant displacement of 13.7mm to 5.7mm, means his new position is now barely outside of the normal range. Please realize any reduction in this condition previously was only achieved through risky surgery.

The result of moving the fractured vertebrae into a more stable position yielded the following results:

  • Thigh soreness – 95% better
  • Weakness in legs – 95% better
  • Coldness in feet – 70% better
Before and After X-Rays

Here are his before and after x-rays

What can he do now?

Following treatment, this patient was able to run a half marathon. Our non-surgical, corrective procedure changed his current life, and certainly his future health. His new position is more stable and inline. We are still working with the patient to further reduce the displacement. We will certainly follow up with you on our continued success with him.

Do you know someone currently suffering from back pain, leg weakness, sore leg muscles or diagnosed with a spondylolisthesis? We just might be able to improve this individual’s prognosis for recovery without surgery. It all starts with our initial evaluation and spine mapping procedure. Call me at 770-938-4606 to discuss any cases that warrant this attention.



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