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Spine Instability

Spine Instability is caused by abnormal movement or the loss of normal pattern of spinal motion between vertebrae. The condition can be caused by too much movement in the joints (hypermobility) or can be the result of disc degeneration, wherein spinal discs lose tension and bulge out, allowing for increased movement between the vertebrae.

Spinal Instability Symptoms

Spinal Instability can effect individuals of all ages.Symptoms of Spine Instability –which often affects people under the age of 40 and even flexible individuals – include:

  • Reoccurring episodes of sharp immediate lower back pain

  • Pain episodes which typically become progressively worse and more frequent

  • Loss of some mobility due to the pain of the vertebral slip

  • Startling pain when standing up or getting out of a chair

  • Catching sensation when moving from a flexed to a standing position

  • Back spasms or ‘locking up’ after flexion and extension movements

  • Feeling that the area within the spine is moving at larger motions than what the muscle and bone can tolerate

  • Difficulty rotating and flexing the spine

Non-surgical Treatments for Spine Instability:

  • Anti-inflammatory pain medications

  • Chiropractic manipulations

  • Weight loss, which can reduce low back pain by decreasing the amount of stress on the low back muscles and ligaments

  • Practicing good ergonomics to help take pressure off the low back. This includes proper lifting techniques, use of ergonomic furniture, and avoiding static postures for prolonged periods of time (sitting or standing)

Elective cervical spine surgery (fusion surgery) is also a possibility, while spinal instrumentation (i.e. a small plate) can help add stability to the spinal construct.