Spinal instability

Our spine is held together by numerous individual parts which also ensure adequate mobility and stability. These parts include not only the vertebrae and discs, but also tendons, ligaments and muscles.

Weakness, gradual wear and tear or acute injury to these elements can cause instability of the spine. If ligaments and tendons lose their elasticity, for example, or "wear out", they no longer hold the vertebrae firmly in position enough. The individual vertebrae can then move too much. The same happens if the discs lose height or the muscles around them are too weak. In the worst-case scenario, spondylolisthesis can occur.

Diagram of an unstable spine

Symptoms

Usually, instability is felt directly in the affected regions. Instability of the cervical spine, for example, will cause neck pain. If movements cause nerve entrapments, however, the pain can also radiate to other parts of the body. Often, the symptoms occur on exertion.

Treatment

To relieve pain and to build up the muscles, we use a variety of conservative methods. Other approaches depend on the cause of the instability:

For degenerated discs, for example, we offer disc cultivation in which we restore the buffer function in a natural way. If there is osteoporosis of the vertebrae, however, we use kyphoplasty. In some cases, where no other methods produce results, we may need to stabilise the segments of the spinal column using spondylodesis.