If a person has symptoms of grade 1 spondylolisthesis, they include low back pain that feels like a pulled muscle, according to Cleveland Clinic. Other symptoms include swayback, pain or weakness in the legs or thighs, tight thigh muscles, or a lessening of control of the bowel or bladder, says Spineuniverse. However, these latter symptoms are unusual in grade 1 spondylolisthesis, where only 25 percent of the vertebra has slipped, and there is no pressure on the spinal nerves.
Grade 1 spondylolisthesis can be diagnosed through X-rays or other imaging techniques, according to Cleveland Clinic. It does not require surgical treatment and usually responds to rest and the taking of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. The doctor or physical therapist may also fit the patient with a back brace to stabilize the lumbar spine and have the patient undergo physical therapy that further stabilizes his spine. A grade 1 spondylolisthesis usually responds after about two to three months of daily physical therapy.
Though some types of spondylolisthesis are not preventable, the risk can be reduced, says Cleveland Clinic. The patient should strive to keep his abdominal muscles strong in order to support his lower back, avoid sports that put his lower back at risk, lose weight if he's obese, and eat foods that support the strength of his bones.