5 Everyday Enemies of Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis everyday enemy

If you want to learn more about spondys and how you can improve your chances of moving and feeling better, make sure to take advantage of our FREE Ebook.

When battling spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis, you may be constantly reminded of a few daily enemies that affect your condition.

Commonly known enemies of spondylolisthesis include lifting heavy objects, hyperextesion (excessive backwards bending), standing up or sitting down and contact sports. Some of these enemies are easily avoided. Others are not so easy to avoid, especially if your job or favorite sport involve any of the these actvities.

But what about things you might do everyday that are adding fuel to your painful fire? Even worse are the things you may be doing that you don’t even know affect your spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis in a negative way.

A large percentage of spondy patients also suffer from poor movement. Poor movement can make everday activites and motion more difficult and possibly painful.

The following are a few everday enemies that you might not have realized can increase your pain and delay your recovery. For this article we will refer to enemies as actions or movements that have the potential to increase pain, cause a flare-up, or create a feeling of tightness or soreness in certain muscles.

1. Prolonged sitting

For those of you who subscribe to our spondylolisthesis newsletter from signing up for our FREE Ebook, you know our thoughts and have seen the statistics on sitting.

When seated, the stress applied to your spine is shocking. Sadly, the average person sits for almost 9 (8.5 to be exact) hours a day! For those who work behind a computer, this number may be even higher.

That is a long time to be in a position that puts muscles that are crucical for proper movement in a tight, flexed position. It is important to attack these affected areas with proper stretches and strengthening exercises to avoid the negative affects of prolonged sitting.

2. Wearing high heels

Wearing high heels can completly alter your posture. Your weight is shifted towards your toes, causing a complete shift in body weight and posture. In short, your glutes (which are more than likely on the weak side from excessive sitting) are not as effective with heels on.

spondylolisthesis enemy

When walking and standing, stress is applied to areas that are not meant to handle the extra pressure. The result is a back that is put in a lordotic position, placing extra stress on the lumbar spine.

3. Picking up objects

If you have improper movement mechanics, a task as simple as picking up a toy can put stress on your spine. If you have poor movement picking up something from the ground, it can create a series of negative chain reactions. It is CRUCIAL to move properly to avoid additional stress from simple movements.

4. Improper exercise technique

Most people understand that exercise, stretching, and staying in shape are a big part of staying pain free. In most cases people rush to the internet, google spondylolisthesis exercise and start on hundreds of sets of whatever exercise they can find. They don’t know if it is safe, effective, or correct. Or they do it because a friend at the local health club said it was good.

MAKE SURE YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT EXERCISES AND YOU ARE DOING THEM CORRECTLY. 

If you are not sure what exercises are right for you, please seek help from a professional who focuses on your movement as a whole and has some experience working with spondys. They can help you get on the right path to moving and feeling better.

Remember, if you have a spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis, it is more than likely you have a movement deficiency. Every movement you do could be created by compensation and overuse of various muscle groups. This could be adding more stress to your fragile spine. Make sure you know what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how to do it correctly. Get a spondylolisthesis exercise program that is designed by someone with the proper certification and credentials!

Don’t perform random spondylolisthesis exercises, hoping to find that one exercise that cures your pain.

5. Sleeping positions

I’m not advocating that one sleeping position is better than the other. I honestly think the position that is safe depends on the individual. But find the position that gives you the most comfort and the least amount of pain. I have had every professional that I visited tell me NOT to sleep on my stomach.

But guess what? I sleep on my stomach.

Why?

Because I have no pain when I do. I tried to sleep in every position imaginable, but pain followed every morning. I have been sleeping on my stomach since I was a kid and to change was causing to much discomfort.

AGAIN, I AM NOT ADVOCATING SLEEPING ON YOUR STOMACH, it just works for ME.

Find out what works for you and what gives you the least amount of pain. Then stick with it. Every body has a different genetic and physical makeup. What works for you might not work for me and vice versa.

Watch out for these everday enimies to reduce the amount of discomfort and pain in your life. I would love to hear if any of these issues affect you or if you have any I did not mention. Share your thoughts with others by commenting below.

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Leave A Reply (111 comments so far)


  1. Nancy
    3 years ago

    Regarding the sleep issue, I am wondering what others have learned about the type of bed that works best or is it completely individual?


    • SpondyInfo
      3 years ago

      Hi Nancy. You bring up a great question. My personal opinion is that each person will have a somewhat different answer or preference. Over the years in my discussions with several spondy patients, I have come across various stories of how certain sleeping positions help and certain positions do not. The only consistent pieces of information that I can recall are how firm mattresses seem to be favored over soft mattresses. I know with my spondy a firm mattress always feels better than a soft one. I would love to hear others opinions as well. Please chime in if you have any tips or advice. Thanks Nancy!


  2. fred loewebaum
    3 years ago

    I’ve been reading your news letters and continue to appreciate everything that you send. I’m on my
    7th day of last flare up and hopefully things will begin to calm down. It’s amazing how when you begin to feel a little better those helpful hints are soon forgotten. I’m going to do my best not to let that happen again. As for sleeping, a pillow between my legs and sleeping on my side seems to help the most. I was a stomach sleeper for many years. LOVED it! but it doesn’t
    make sense with a spondy so I abandoned it. I have a medium to soft mattress. Probably could be a little firmer.
    I have found a new chiropractor and he has a grade 2 spondylosthesis. At last someone that might truly understand what it is I am going through! I will keep you posted on progress and let readers in on anything that helps me.


    • SpondyInfo
      3 years ago

      Hi Fred. I completely agree with you. Once you start to feel better it is VERY easy to forget those helpful hints and tips. One thing I do on a daily basis to help remind me is to mark a calendar every morning. Every day I get up I put an “X” on a calender to mark off the previous day. This sets off a little reminder that I need to try and do something everyday to keep my pain and flare ups away. It may be something as simple as a stretch or brief exercise. But if I get lazy and think my condition is cured, pain is quick to follow.

      As far as your sleeping goes; did you experience pain when sleeping on your stomach and that is the reason you stopped? I personally am a stomach sleeper and prefer a hard mattress. My mom has always told me I have been a stomach sleeper since I was a child. Many docs and chiros told me to avoid sleeping on my stomach at all costs. However, when I sleep on my back I seem to get flare ups more often. I have since slept on my stomach and have felt great. It feels so natural for me and I am a true believer that everyone is different and should do what feels best for them in their situation. I am glad you enjoy the site and thanks for commenting and helping the site!


  3. Kevin
    3 years ago

    My wife and I have a pillow top mattress, rated as “firm” with memory foam. it’s just firm enough for support but the memory foam seems to gently encase you. Works great for my back….spondy grade 2. I easily fall asleep on my back but, end up as a side sleeper overall. Many years ago I could not lay in bed on my back because it would begin hurting within 10 minutes and lead to a longer flare up. Over the last several years, I have no problem laying on my back in bed and can do so for as long as it takes to fall asleep without any immediate or lasting pain. Weird huh…….


  4. Emma
    2 years ago

    I have recently injured my back when picking up a box, which led to doing some research. A recent MRI showed movement of my L-5 . I still have a lot of research to do to get the help I need.


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Hi Emma. Welcome to our community. I hope the information you read will help you along the way with your research. Never hesitate to ask questions along the way. Best of luck!


  5. Joyce DeBlasio
    2 years ago

    Hi. I was diagnosed with spondylolesthesis (grade 1 at L4-5) in October 2014. I also have spinal stenosis and a herniated disc. How do I become a member of this group? I have read the E-book and have obtained a great deal of information
    from my neurologist, 2 neurosurgeons, and my physical therapists. They all want me to continue
    my exercises which will hopefully help me to avoid surgery. I would like to know if any of the
    spondy clients play golf because I am hoping I will be able to play again in the spring.
    Thanks.
    Joyce


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Hi Joyce and welcome to our website. If you are referring to our Step-By-Step Spondy Improvement Path you can learn more HERE.

      You are off to a great start if you have read our E-book and you can continue to learn more by searching through our database of articles and blog posts. Also, make sure to read the comment sections below each article. There is a ton of great questions and answers in these sections.

      Personally, golf is my favorite sport Joyce. When the weather is appropriate I play a few times a week. Golf is a tricky sport to play with a spondy. The reason is due to the repetitive movements that occur in the same plane over and over. This requires those who play to stay on top of movement exercises, stretches, mobility and strength. It is paramount to maintain proper movement when you have a spondy. You can learn more about that HERE. For years I struggled with golf and my spondy, but once I improved my movement and started moving better I was again able to enjoy the sport I loved. Always feel free to ask questions here Joyce…..We welcome you!


  6. Andrew Marks
    2 years ago

    Spondy stable grade 1 with stenosis, matteress firm with men foam, no probs sleeping on side with pillow between legs, this is optimum position apparently. I agree you can over do the spondy type exercises and personally getting screened by physio soon although it’s taken a year to arrive at this point!!. Main problem with condition is muscle imbalances and poor habitual movement which can be made worse by random exercise. I get backache, no issues with walking etc, can touch toes!!. Twinges, muscle spasms on a small scale, not really pain. Anyone thinking of dry needling?


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Hi Andrew. Muscle imbalances and poor habitual movement – in my opinion – is probably two of the more common issues leading to spondy related pain. You hit the nail on the head on your comment about how these two things can create even more problems when combined with random exercises. It’s a good thing you can touch your toes and it sounds like you are on the right track by getting a screened soon. I commented on your other question regarding dry needling in the comment section below this post: http://spondyinfo.com/10-things-that-make-your-spondy-unique/
      Stay in touch with how your screening process goes. Best of luck!


  7. Shannon
    2 years ago

    I was never told about not laying on your tummy to sleep or for that matter to watch tv. I have been watching tv in the bedroom, laying on my tummy, on the bed. And directly, my back went out. It was the 9th and today is the 22nd. I can walk, and sometimes even in a backward ? is the best way to describe it. Anyway, I have slept in the recliner mostly during the worst part of this, but I want to sleep in the bed. However, I can only sleep on my left side, with a pillow between my legs, but I really need a different way. Sleeping on one side all night hurts too. I am getting really upset about this. because I need my rest. Thank you for any ideas


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Hi Shannon. I am sorry to hear about your accident. Personally, I have never had an issue sleeping on my stomach, laying on my stomach with my chest up (reading or watching t.v.) over an extended amount of time has led to some discomfort for me in the past. It is basically due to the reverse arched position you are in that adds stress to your lower spine. Without a diagnosis or trip to a doctor Shannon it is really hard to determine what is going on. It could be inflammation from your spondy or you could have done something else (slipped disc, etc.). Without visiting a doctor it really is a guessing game. With that being said the only thing you can really do is to try and reduce/control the inflammation as much as possible.
      This post may help:http://spondyinfo.com/5-ways-to-reduce-spondylolisthesis-inflammation/
      I understand the feeling of frustration and as you lose sleep the feeling can mount. It is important to view this setback as just a small bump in the road. You will get better, but the healing process does take time. My suggestion would be to try and reduce the inflammation, but if the pain continues much longer you may want to consider visiting a doctor just to be sure about what is going on. In the mean time this post has some great comments from readers in regards to sleeping positions that have helped them: http://spondyinfo.com/spondy-pain-and-sleeping-3-useful-tips/
      Make sure you scroll down to the bottom to read the comments. Best of luck Shannon and thanks for posting. Please keep us updated on your improvements.


  8. Carmen
    2 years ago

    I find that standing for long periods of time causes excruciating pain for hours after I’m not standing anymore. I’m a baker, and this past weekend I baked more than 150 cupcakes. It took me about 5-6 hours. The pain I had after that brought me to tears (and I don’t cry).


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Hi Carmen. Sorry to hear about your pain. I have been in your shoes before and I know just how painful this can be. My only advice is to think about the position you are in for this 5-6 hours and think about how it could be affecting you/your spondy. Are you hunched over? Are you favoring one leg over the other? Are you feeling tightness/stiffness in certain muscles? These are all things to ask yourself. When you do anything for long hours compensations and asymmetries can develop and these are both enemies of spondy’s and can often lead to inflammation and pain. The type of spondy plus other back conditions involved – if there are any – play a huge role in your pain as well. Finding out if you have movement related issues that are affected by this long standing may help you with your pain. This article will explain more: http://spondyinfo.com/how-poor-movement-can-affect-your-spondy-and-how-to-fix-it/

      Best of luck and I hope this helps!


  9. kalyan dasgupta
    2 years ago

    if i sleep or lay down with pillow below my knee for more than 1 or 2 hr with out mild sedative i develop some kind of restless leg syndrom but no such pain in rt leg. i have gr 1 . i have not so intense pain but pain mainly increasing while standing up for prolong time.
    any way how u rate swimming as an excercise.


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Swimming is a great way to achieve the benefits of exercise without the stress that is applied during standing/running activities. Personally, I love swimming as a form of exercise and when I have access to a pool I try to take advantage of it. As always, get clearance from your doc if you are attempting for the first time since pain/diagnosis. Thanks for the comment Kaylan!


  10. Alondra Ramirez
    2 years ago

    I was just informed last Thursday I had spondelothysis. I have to go in for more imaging to find out what grade it is. My first flare up was about a year ago by simply picking up an object. I could not stand straight for about 30 mts, I then went into the ER and x-rays were taken. I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon but never did go. My back looked like S shaped for a couple of days, due to swelling. Throughout a whole year, I had small flare ups when bending forward most of the time. I sit for 7 hours or more as day and constantly have to move around, I feel as lot of tightness in my back along with numbness and tingling down my right leg. I work with orthopedic surgeons and was advised to get further imaging and not ignore my symptoms anymore. I guess I am just afraid, as I see patients suffer from fusions(I know that may not be my case) and all other complications. Soon I will find out what grade I am at and will start to take better care of myself. I found th his website and enjoy reading about the information provided.


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Hi Alondra. Thanks for finding the site. Like you said, your first step is to find out what grade you are and you can then develop a plan to start moving and feeling better. Do not get down, do not get afraid. There are people out there (although sometimes hard to find) that can and will help you move and feel better. Keep in mind studies have shown that people with grades 1 and 2 spondy’s have a very high percentage chance of improving how they feel through correct, non-operative methods. Surgery should be a last resort and there are several things to try before going under for the surgery. Look around the site, interact with the comments and get to know more about your body and your spondy. Always feel free to drop any questions you may have along the way. Best of luck and stay strong!


  11. David Pattenden
    2 years ago

    Hi,

    Only signed up to your web site a few days ago, but already finding it helps.

    I am looking to arrange a movement assessment or screen asap.

    On reading your comments re movement and compensating with other areas or the body, I realised that I walk slightly stooped with my head forward looking downward (even when not bent badly with pain), so for the last few days I have been concentrating on walking as upright as possible and I have already found an improvement in the discomfort usually felt.

    As for picking up objects, the last time my spondy went really bad (it threw me on the floor) was as I straightened up after picking up a sock.


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      I am glad the information is helping David. Getting a movement assessment is a great first step. Let me know how it goes!


  12. Mary H
    2 years ago

    Sitting and high heels have been my trigger. In this article you mention exercises to offset the effects of sitting. Where might I find these?


  13. Janna
    2 years ago

    I have back issues for 30 years. At 63, after reading about all of the symptoms of spondo., I think I have just now fallen into that category. What seemed to push me over into the lower spine moving around a lot was doing what the trainer told me to do, all well intnetioned, but apparently not the right excercises fo my back. Now I am in pain all of the time. Have an appt. With back doctor just to see what deteriation is there. My mom has spondo. And she chose to take medications, ..I do not want to go that route.


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Hi Janna. Unfortunately, I hear often of people suffering from pain after performing exercises. There are many possible reasons for this and I discuss many of them in this blog post. I encourage you to check it out:http://spondyinfo.com/spondylolisthesis-exercises-to-avoid/

      It sounds like you are taking the right first steps by having your back examined by a doctor. Best of luck moving forward and thanks for posting!


  14. Linda
    2 years ago

    Great article, Justin. Please keep them coming.


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Thanks Linda!


  15. Shirley Hare
    2 years ago

    The only way I can sleep is on my back. If I try to sleep on either side the nerve running down my legs hurts really bad. When I stand up in the morning first thing I have to put an ice pack on and sit on the couch because the back and legs hurt so badly. I am waiting to see a surgeon with MRI and x-rays in hand to have my situation evaluated. This has been going on since January of this year and no improvement. Did physical therapy with little to no improvement. I am at my wit’s end. I don’t want surgery but it looks like I’m headed that way. Any input?


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Hi Shirley. I understand your frustration and it sounds like you are taking a good step by having an MRI and x-rays to determine the severity of your condition. My only piece of advice would be to not give up easily. Speak with your doctor about where you stand exactly and gain and understanding of your condition. And keep in mind a surgeon will more than likely recommend surgery if the condition warrants, I would also suggest seeking an opinion from a non-surgeon to gain a perspective from both sides. For example, I was told by one doctor I could have surgery, while another told me surgery was not necessary. Also, do not give up easily on therapy. Even if you had one experience that did not help too much, it does not mean therapy will not help you. I explain more here:http://spondyinfo.com/why-does-spondylolisthesis-therapy-often-fail/
      Best of luck and keep me informed of your progress!


  16. sandy dwelley
    2 years ago

    Hi I found your site it is great my chiropractor told me thru xrays i have spondyisthes should I go see aback surg. or dr. get an mri to verify the degree of this or how is the best way and I checked out the clinics and none around what can I do ? I also have fibromylagia I have been seeing a chiro. for about 30 years because of a accident at 18 yrs old. Your insights would help thanks


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      It is never a bad idea to seek the help of a doctor. The doctor could provide further information in regards to the severity of the condition, the type of the condition, etc. Especially if you are finding the symptoms are becoming worse. It is best to start with the closest options and read reviews, etc. Then put this information together to help make your decision. Also, be aware that sometimes it may take a visit to a few doctors before you find the best fit for you and your back. Best of luck Sandy!


  17. Tina
    2 years ago

    For me, it’s anything done in the same position for more than a little while, with standing being the worst. As for sleeping, I tend to sleep on my left side (the side less affected by sciatic pain) with a pillow between my knees. But when the pain gets too bad that way, I’ll turn over to my stomach. It does help the pain, but when I go to turn back to my side, I have pain higher up in my back. There’s really no nonpainful way for me to sleep.


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Thanks for sharing Tina!


  18. Fiona miles
    2 years ago

    This really is a very welcome site as it is good to hear other folks experiences Sleeping on the side with the knee pillow is good, then a time on the back with pillow under knees ,or a pillow along front of body so you don’t roll forward and I found a hot water A bit of mindfulness breathing and visualisations can help in the wee small hours PS I live near Oxford u.k. I saw a back consultant there ,had an MRI he said spondylolisthesis Gd1 at L4/L5 try Pilates and paracetamol OK Pilates has helped but an explanation ,a bit of sympathy and more advice would have been good !! Anyway I saw a physio who is helping release back muscles like concrete ! It is helping Maybe if the top back consultant had actually looked at my back I would not have had to discover this out for myself ! Thank you very much for all the positive ideas xx


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Hi Fiona. I am glad you enjoy the site!
      Thanks for sharing our story and it appears you are on a great track. One thing to keep in mind is to discuss with your physio WHY your back muscles are so tight. Then work together to develop a plan to help improve upon this. There is a reason your back muscles are getting so tight. Finding out why will go along way in improving how you feel. Best of luck!


  19. Roxie
    2 years ago

    Again – such useful information that I can share with my family so that they know as much about
    Spondy as I do. Some surprising aspects – thank you again!


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      No problem Roxie! I am glad you are finding the site helpful!


  20. juan narvaez
    2 years ago

    Hi. I just started getting these newsletters also. I just found out that I have spondylolisthesis a couple of weeks ago. I was devastated because I lift weights and play softball and the doctor told me I couldn’t do any of those 2 things. Is it really true that I can’t lift weights anymore or play softball


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Hi Juan. I understand your frustration and fear as I was also told by several doctors not to play golf, run or participate in certain activities. On the other hand I had a few doctors tell me to do what I felt comfortable doing and to listen to my body. The one thing I have learned is that doctors seem to have different opinions on this. Some are cautious and some are more open. Of course it really depends on your spondy grade, your past injury history and the quality of movement. If you are not happy with your doctors advice I would get another opinion and go from there.

      Currently I play golf, sprint weekly and lift weights with not problem…it actually HELPS me! However, I cannot tell you what is safe for you and what is not because so many spondy patients are different. Start by learning about your movement and perhaps get it checked. This article explains morehttp://spondyinfo.com/how-poor-movement-can-affect-your-spondy-and-how-to-fix-it/


  21. Angie
    2 years ago

    Hi, I was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis a couple of weeks ago. Very unhelpful letter from the hospital asking if I wanted to be referred to spinal surgeons, with alternate options being physiotherapy or pain management. A load of medical jargon in the attached MRI report led me to do my own research and hence I found your site and have already read the free e-book. Very helpful, thanks. I find some mornings I can walk to work with little or no pain but then after sitting for several hours I am in extreme pain when I take my lunchtime walk, and again more severe pain when I return to a sitting position again. I often find that bending down to pull up my socks causes extreme pain making it hard to upright myself again.


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Hi Angie. Thanks for sharing and reading our Ebook. I applaud you for taking the time and spending the energy to research your condition and I encourage you to learn as much as you can. Our site is filled with helpful blog posts, links and information regarding not only spondylolisthesis, but also your body. Also, do not forget to read the comments below each post. There have been a ton of great questions and I always try to respond to each and everyone.

      The question you need to ask yourself is “why”? Why does walking in the mornings shed no pain, but in the afternoons you get pain? What could be happening internally that is leading to this. It could be several things and unfortunately, I am unable to provide an exact answer due to the various factors that may be leading to the pain. Things such as personal injury history, type and grade of spondy and most importantly your bodies personal movement mechanics and overall movement quality.

      I would recommend by starting with this post and then taking the necessary actions to seek a professional to help you determine what movement issues you may have that may be leading to your discomfort. Then you can begin to improve upon them and hopefully improve how you feel. Thanks for finding the site!

      http://spondyinfo.com/how-poor-movement-can-affect-your-spondy-and-how-to-fix-it/


  22. Charlotte
    2 years ago

    A very well written article. Wish I had found this a long time ago.


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Thanks Charlotte!


  23. Andy deakins
    1 year ago

    Hello I’m new to this sight I have a grade 1-2 spondylolisthesis I played football for 18 years among other things and am now 35 and have owned a concrete company for 14 years so given I have abused my body for years but I also exercise a lot and used to be a runner but since discovering a spondy and the pain from it I have switched to biking the only real pain I have is when I stand still for a prolonged period of time. I have seen many doctors and chiropractors and they have begun steroid injections in the area because of the business I’m in and the fact that I have to pick up heavy objects I would love to know if this can be reversed by exercising or what exercises to do to improve the condition I still exercise for 2-2 1/2 hours a day 4-5 days a week the biking and very few pt exercises I know have helped but now I’m lost I still have some pain and don’t want surgery because 3 months in a back brace is not an option


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      Hi Andy. I understand your fear and frustration. And the question you ask in regards to reversing the condition is a little more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no”. The fracture and slippage itself cannot be reversed. It has happened and the fracture in combination with the slippage and location make a total heal impossible. However, the pain and discomfort you are experiencing (especially if it is a grade 1 or 2) has a good chance of improving. There has actually been studies that have shown grade 1 and 2 spondy’s have a percentage chance of improvement without surgical means.

      I am a perfect example. I used to literally need help out of bed in the morning and had to call in “sick” to work a few times at the height of my pain. Mainly because I could not move without excruciating pain in my back/hips and legs. Slowly but surely as I improved my knowledge of this condition and applied what I learned to my situation I began to improve how I felt. I once had these “flare ups” on a monthly basis. It has now been years since my last major incident even though my spondy is still present.

      If you are active – which it sounds like you are – you need to consider your bodies overall movement. I try to explain this to every reader who asks this same question and I encourage to read this post which I wrote specifically for those with a similar question to yours:

      http://spondyinfo.com/how-poor-movement-can-affect-your-spondy-and-how-to-fix-it/

      Then, I encourage you to take action and seek out a professional who can help you not only learn about where you movement is currently at and whether or not it is playing a role in your spondy pain, but also work with you to develop a plan to improve upon it. I hope this info helps!


  24. Michelle
    1 year ago

    Hi I have suffered with back problems for 30 years I recently had a M R.I which revealed I have a number of things including spondlothesis at L4/L5. L5/S1..The last two years have been terrible ,but just recently I’ve slowed right down I don’t sit cause I find it un- comfortable after 5mins I suffer sleep wise can never get comfyI now going seeing a nero-surgeon hopefully find more answers….


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      Hi Michelle. Thanks for finding the site and I hope it helps you in your journey to improvement. Keep us updated on what the docs provide.


  25. Krissy
    1 year ago

    I was just told 3 days ago that I have spondylolithesis which is somewhat devastating news to me. Nine years ago I developed spondylolysis (L4, both pars) and two buldging discs (at the L3-4 level). The pain lasted years and the discs acted up a few more times. Since then I’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I see a physio therapist once a week -he does a lot of facia work and adjustments. I’d been feeling like the pain was finally under control but one wrong move and now this. My question is how long should I rest, ice etc before I start to re-strengthen?


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      Hi Krissy. Unfortunately there is no exact answer to this question. The main reason is that everyones situation is different depending on various factors. such as severity of the spondy, your bodies movement mechanics, past injury history, current injury history, other conditions and many more things.

      I can tell you when I have a “flare up” or spondy setback I like to give myself between 5-7 days to let the inflammation subside. Sometimes it is more than this, sometimes it is less. It depends on the severity of the flare up. I have gotten to the point where I can not anticipate when a flare up is happening. Perhaps if I tried a new exercise or played a ton with my kids in the yard the day before and I start to feel a little discomfort I know right away to adjust what I am doing and to go into prevent mode. This is when I will take a few days to let things subside and not to push it.

      In the past I would have kept going and pushing myself only to find myself in so much pain that I literally needed help out of bed at times. I encourage you to ask your PT this question as they would have a more accurate answer due to their ability to physical see you and they know about your body and condition. Best of luck!


  26. Alex Hourahine
    1 year ago

    I was diagnosed with this condition several months ago. I am a pretty active individual and this problem stopped my ability to run, However cycling and swimming are good alternatives and no adverse effects.
    Waking up from sleep, driving and prolonged sitting are my big issues. So far I have not found good solutions but I do agree that sleeping on my stomach with a pillow under my rib cage is the best position I have found to date.
    I would appreciate hearing about others experiences


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      Hi Alex, thanks for finding the site. Your issues sound very similar to how mine started out and you will quickly learn what creates issues (pain & inflammation) and what does not. I encourage you to keep a log or journal to help keep track of what things bother you etc. It is a very good way to learn more about your body and the condition. I encourage you to read the various blog posts I have created and more importantly, read the comments as there are a ton of great posts from readers. As always, ask any questions along the way…..best of luck!


  27. Jim Noyes
    1 year ago

    We have a very handy device called a Reacher-Grabber that enables me to play fetch with the dogs, pick up and put away stuff without flexing or extending much at all. Very useful !

    Recent flare-up resulted in ER/Acute Care for 24-hrs but steroids, naproxen 500 and percocet did the trick quickly and feel better than ever. Unfortunately, suspect the relief is temporary…just don’t know how long that might be…thus the dark cloud of uncertainty.


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      I understand your concerns Jim. One of the issues with medications is they do little to attack the underlying cause of the pain. The meds main role is to mask the discomfort. Often times pain shots and meds will provide the immediate relief and the pain will soon return. My advice is to attack the underlying issues. Often times this is movement related.

      I explain more here: http://spondyinfo.com/how-poor-movement-can-affect-your-spondy-and-how-to-fix-it/


  28. Antionette
    1 year ago

    Is pilates or yogo good for spondylolistthesis? Is it possible to reverse the damage and or put the lumbars back into position? I have a tempurpedic (sp?) bed and i dont know what I would do without it. Thank you for creating this site.


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      Hi Antionette. If done properly and carefully for the individual, they can be very helpful. But the key is properly. Everyone has different physical limitations and issues and when these limitations are met with difficult movements that the body simply cannot due compensations often occur. This is why finding a good teacher is important. One who knows your condition and your limitations. Unfortunately, once a vertebrae slips there is little to no chance of it repositioning itself on its own. If caught early before a slip occurs doctors will often provide a brace and limit movement in an attempt to encourage healing at the site of the break. Thanks for kind words and for sharing!


  29. Alex Hourahine
    1 year ago

    Thanks for the comments I am experiencing very similar issues. I can function alomost pain free throughout the day, unless I sit for more than 10-15 minutes. I go to bed and sleep on my stomach as well (best position I have found. Waking is a challenge, the longer I sleep the worse getting moving is.
    I have found that breaking my sleep up into 4 hour or less segments and performing about a 20 minute stretch routine in between makes the start of the following day much more manageable.
    Finally I am a personal trainer so performing regular workout regimes are not a challenge for me. However I am working with a Physiotherapist who has been very helpful in pinpointing very specific drills and ensuring I perform them correctly. I hope my experience can help someone else a little.


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      Great tips Alex. One reason pain gets worse at night in combination with the sleeping positions is fact that inflammation levels are often highest at night. These is due to many reasons, but the point is this is when you can expect the most pain. I have talked this with a healthy diet, reducing stress and meditation. I agree with you, sleeping on my stomach is what I have always done, since I was born. So it feels most comfortable. It’s great to hear you have found a nice working relationship with a PT. That is a great step in the road to moving and feeling better.


  30. Marilyn Ryba
    1 year ago

    You’re article hit it right n the head. Thank you for being here. I felt like the only one suffering from this nasty only. I am sorry so many have it too, but I am happy I found you.


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      No problem Marilyn! Thanks for the kind comments and I hope you continue to find help in the site!


  31. Heather
    1 year ago

    I’m 42, diagnosed with spondylolisthesis S1/L5 over 7 years ago. Initially it was a Level 1 and recently had another xray showing it’s further slipped to Level 2. My biggest question is why NOT focus on surgery to create the stable spinal foundation? Why avoid surgery as a last resort? I honestly want to enjoy a long, active, pain-free life and feel like any additional slipping will force the surgery and may then result in a less desirable outcome at that point. Thoughts on why looking at surgery is avoided versus welcomed?


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      Hi Heather. This is a fantastic question and in the near future I plan on writing a blog post addressing this topic in more detail, so keep an eye out for that. To be clear, spondy surgery is not avoidable for everyone. There are certain circumstances that will put a spondy patient into a category where surgery is going to be their best option. This is where the various types of spondy’s, grades of spondy’s and past injuries come into play. For example, someone who has a stable grade 1 or grade 2 category has a much higher percentage chance of finding improvement through non-surgical measures when compared to a stable grade 3 or grade 4 patient. Also, someone who has a stable spondy has a higher percentage of improving how they feel through non-surgical procedures when compared to an unstable spondy.

      The bottom line is you need to fully understand what YOU are facing and what your situation is. Spondy’s are so frustrating because of the various categories, grade levels and underlying health issues that face the sufferers. Every case can be so different. For those who are candidates for surgery, but have yet to look into alternative options such as therapy, massage, improving movement issues and weaknesses, etc, I have always advocated to look at surgery as a last resort. There are several reasons for this:

      1. No surgery is guaranteed to work and spinal surgery is a big deal. All surgery is. Unfortunately, I have seen a few spondy patients who have had negative surgery results. Or no improvement or difference at all. With this in mind, I always recommend getting a few opinions before moving forward with such a big procedure.

      2. Not everyone can afford the surgery right away.

      3. If poor movement is playing a role in your spondy and how you feel, the surgery does not correct this. The surgery helps to stabilize the affected area (vertebrae). Let’s pretend you have a grade 1, stable, isthmic spondy and you have very tight hips and poor core stabilization and timing (a very common theme among many spondy patients). If you elect for surgery right away the surgery fixes the site of the pain. But it does not address the possible cause of the pain. The cause COULD be the tight hips and poor core leading to compensations and stress on the spine. What if surgery is preformed, therapy is complete and everyday activities are resumed and soon the pain returns? It could be possible -if these weaknesses are not addressed-the poor movement returns and more stress and strain are placed the spine. It would not be long before the pain returns. I believe in some cases this happens. The surgery corrects or addresses the result of poor movement, not the poor movement itself. It does not address the cause of the issue in the first place, therefore leaving the door open for pain to return. This is one of the main reasons I mention trying all options before going under the knife.

      There are more reasons besides the ones mentioned above, but these are some of the most common of the readers. Again, some people will HAVE to have surgery, but a majority of spondy patients fall into the category of grades 1 & 2 and stable. This is the group that has a really strong chance of improving without surgery. I hope that makes sense and great question!


  32. Bill Stevens
    1 year ago

    Justin, My main issue is driving on the highway, Thats where I start to feel the tingling and nunbness in my hands mainly. Also getting out of the car is a bit labor intensive. I need some tips on proper back support while driving. Do I need a wedge that they sell in Drug stores? Tell me what you would suggest.


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      Hi Bill. My suggestion would be to think about why does driving cause you tingling and numbness in your hands? This may or may not be spondy related and often times things like a brace or wedge will provide little if any help. That is not to say it is not worth giving it a shot, but I always prefer to search for the root of the cause and not just a band aid cover up when pain occurs.

      In your case, for whatever reason, the extension of the arms in combination with sitting is producing this numbness or tingling in the hands. Often times numbness in the hands is a by product of some kind of issue in the neck/thoracic spine region when a nerve is being pinched or affected and I do not think a wedge or back brace would do much for you (I could be wrong though). As I said, this may or may not be spondy related. People are often quick to judge or blame any pain on their spondy and the issue may not be spondy related at all. I explain this more here: http://spondyinfo.com/your-back-pain-may-not-be-caused-by-your-spondy/

      Pinched nerves, tight muscles, muscle knots, stenosis, slipped discs, etc are all possible culprits. The only real way to find out or eliminate possible problems is to see a medical professional who can put you through some testing protocols or x-rays, etc. Any suggestions I would have would only be guesses without knowing more about you, your past medical history and most importantly your movement. I wish I could give you an answer to help the cause immediately, but unfortunately there are too many unknowns. Thanks for the question!


  33. heather
    1 year ago

    Hi. I’m so excited to have found this website. I was diagnosed about 17 years ago (wow). You all are right in that when we’re not in a flare up its easy to forget to do our stretches and exercises. I’ve been in a flare up the past week and it’s horrible. I’m glad I’ve found this site. It’s given me a new found hope that I can get stronger and eliminate some of this pain!


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      I am glad the website is helping Heather! And you are right…flare ups are awful! Luckily we have tons of info on flareups on the website. Feel free to look around and don’t forget to read the comments and post any questions you have!


  34. Jennifer Merhar
    1 year ago

    I have been diagnosed with stage 2 unstable spondylitis since 2/5/16. Physical therapy twice a week and cervical chiropractic adjustments. Sitting is excruciating. I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Mornings are not so bad until I start “living” I am careful how I move, but one little bend, or sit for a few minutes and I have become immobilized with spasms in my left thigh. I cannot move anywhere from 5 to 30minutes. It is now happening at least 7 times a week at work. First orthopedic surgeon says ” live to you can’t stand it and then schedule surgery ” I am in the middle of a second opinion and his first thought was periformis. Am doing stretches and therapy, when spasms calm down and I can. There is no rhyme or reason to what or when I can do something. It has been three months and nothing has improved. Had three steroid epidurals, pain meds don’t help cuz when I just stand, nothing hurts, and the spasms are at a 10 in one second of movement.
    Aargh. I don’t know where to look or when to give up.


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      Hi Jennifer. I am sorry to hear about your frustrating story. Unfortunately, it sounds familiar. The constant pain, frustration and confusion caused by having a spondylolisthesis and spondylolysis. I have to be honest though. I am not as familiar with spondylitis as I am with spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis. From what I understand spondylitis is more of an inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine and sometimes other areas. My brief studying on the topic lead me to the conclusion that it is an auto-immune disease, where spondylolisthesis and spondylolysis are not. With that being said I would highly recommend keeping a journal to help you learn what does and does not help you and your body. I talk about keeping a journal here:http://spondyinfo.com/spondylolisthesis-therapy-tip-keep-a-journa/

      This will help you get an understanding of what could be leading to your discomfort. I would also keep on your path of getting a few other opinions. The more doctors that can see you and give you feedback will give you the best chances of finding improvement. Do not just stop when you receive bad news.

      Im sorry I cannot be of more help, but try to keep your head up and keep moving forward in search of help and relief. Also, my article on movement may be of help as well:http://spondyinfo.com/how-poor-movement-can-affect-your-spondy-and-how-to-fix-it/


  35. Krista
    1 year ago

    This list is great because I agree with every single one of the items. Prolonged sitting especially gets to me. Others that I’ve found are standing for long periods of time, prolonged walking, and definitely things like jogging, running and jumping jacks. However, I’m a teacher, and my job requires me to do many of these things on the “no-no” list. I’m wondering if a back brace would allow me to do some of these things again?


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      Hi Krista. I am glad you enjoyed the blog post.

      To be honest, I am not a huge fan of braces used in this type of situation. I am sure there are cases where they are necessary, but for the most part braces used in situations like you describe are nothing more than a crutch or band-aid to a deeper problem. The brace acts as a substitute or crutch for areas of the body that are not performing their job correctly.

      It could be you have poor core or pelvic stabilization or muscular control. Your glutes may be underperforming due to various factors. Whatever the case, something is not working correctly…In a nutshell you may have poor movement or motor function in one or more areas. . Instead of searching for a brace I would encourage you to search for what is not working correctly. The brace will not correct the root of the cause. It only will help to cover up the pain or provide a sense of support. Over time your body will continue to rely on the brace instead of using its own brace (quality movement).

      I explain this more here and explain how you can search for help:http://spondyinfo.com/how-poor-movement-can-affect-your-spondy-and-how-to-fix-it/

      This article will also help you understand this concept further:http://spondyinfo.com/why-does-running-hurt-my-spondylolisthesis/

      I hope this makes sense and helps!


  36. Louise
    1 year ago

    I just found this site after two days of being told that I have L5S1 spondylisisthesis and that I have to go for immediate surgery (in the next 2 weeks) for nerve decompression and spinal fusion. I’m terrified and trying to find out if there are alternatives, the surgeon told me there are no alternatives. I get flare ups mainly in the morning with bad sciatica and some numbness around the buttock area but not all the time. I do a lot of bikram yoga which I think has made things worse so I have stopped that and I’m beginning to feel a bit better. I’d love some advice on what to do as I’m afraid if I cancel the surgery I’ll get more damage, but on the other hand I feel surgery is so drastic. I’m otherwise healthy and active. I’m feeling desperate and confused. Any advice? Thank you.


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      Hi Louise. Sorry to hear about your situation. I understand completely and the pain and confusion can be overwhelming. There are several factors that play a role in your decision. Things such as the grade of your Spondy, the type of spondylolisthesis that you have and if you have any other back conditions present. This article will explain that more:http://spondyinfo.com/10-things-that-make-your-spondy-unique/

      When it comes to surgery (again depending on the exact situation), I always think seeking multiple opinions is a smart choice. It is your body and you have the right to get other options. Keep in mind some doctors heavily favor surgery while others lean against it unless absolutely necessary. Their opinions may differ on the exact same situation. I encourage you to read this article along with some of the reader comments below. It may provide you with some more insight. http://spondyinfo.com/spondylolisthesis-surgery-tip/

      Try to stay positive and always feel free to post comments/ask questions along the way. Best of luck!


  37. stephanie
    1 year ago

    I recently bought a pair of Nike Air max and it killed my back like if i was wearing high heals all day long. I guess it’s because it’s been engineered to give regular people a “perfect posture”. It gives too much arch to my lower back.
    Stephanie. Paris. France


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      Hi Stephanie. Thanks for sharing! I have heard similar stories from others and believe the “air bubble” in these shoes forces people into undesirable positions. Especially if you have a back condition.


  38. Melissa
    11 months ago

    Melissa here from Florida. I’m 32, diagnosed as a child at about 8 years old. Just began intentional treatment & rehab a year ago after I experienced the worst flare up 2 years ago and my right hip was never the same. I’ve since lost 60 lbs and become stronger, leaner & overall much more active. My question is, have you heard of piriformis syndrom, hip rotation or hip flexor strains developing due to spondy flare ups/issues? Basically, after that flare up 2 years ago my right hip was never the same. It was diagnosed as rotation by my phys therapist & we corrected it. BUT recently I took 3-4 weeks off of my daily workout/gym/running and When I went for my first run thereafter I slightly tore my MCL in my knee due to another hip rotation. I Gave it 4 weeks of RICE and went for a run again & then my hip flexor tore/sprain. Im afraid I have to retrain & visit physical therapist again to correct & heal before returning to my previosu active lifestyle. I know these injuries are due to poor/improper form. Thoughts, comments & suggestions needed.


    • SpondyInfo
      11 months ago

      Hi Melissa. I have not heard of any specific instances as you describe, but I would be willing to bet it is much more common than you think. The reason is that having a spondy leads to so many compensations. Once these occur, especially in the hips, core and rear end area (piriformis and glutes) it creates havoc on the body and its movement patterns. This often leads to strains, tears and pulls. Not to mention pain! My suggestion would be to have your overall movement assessed to help you determine where the underlying problem may be. Give this article a read as I think it will help you further understand and provide you with some direction: http://spondyinfo.com/how-poor-movement-can-affect-your-spondy-and-how-to-fix-it/

      Let me know if you have any further questions!


  39. Wayne
    10 months ago

    Broke my back over 40 years ago. Healed without surgery, but with a (stable) stage2 spondylolisthesis. Didn’t have problems with it until 4 years ago when my (genetic) cardiovascular disease presented itself eventually leading to a quad by pass 3 years ago. My spondy condition started to deteriorate rapidly as I lost what was to then a great core. As my core got weaker, my pain due to my stage2 spondy got worse. Fast forward to today (3 years after the bypass) I’m (almost) back to pre-bypass condition. I’m able to do harder workouts now than I’ve been able to do in 5+ years. Except my core. Having a heck of a time getting it back in shape. Putting on 30 lbs doesn’t help. My spondy doesn’t keep me from doing any of my physical activities (running, diving, cycling & GYM weights). Can’t run as long or as fast as I used to – but I’m very active (156,000 steps last week).

    What does get to me every day is sleeping! I go to be feeling OK & without out fail wakeup feeling crappy! No matter what position I sleep in I wake up in the AM feeing bad. It gets better as I get moving & do a few loosening excercises. By end of the workday & into the evening I’m feeling pretty good (stand up desk, noon & evening workouts). Only to go to sleep & wake up feeling poorly.

    If someone out there has an idea (beside losing the xtra lbs & continuing to strengthen my core) please let me know.

    I appreciate this site & the great info it has. Please keep up the good work!


    • SpondyInfo
      10 months ago

      Hi Wayne,

      My first thought is that your rib cage is tight and you’re not breathing well. The bypass surgery (cracked open chest), the core that won’t get stronger despite everything else improving, and the waking at night for no apparent reason….all point to a problem breathing efficiently. When you’re not breathing efficiently it de-stabilizes the core. The body then develops extra compensations to help you breathe, which continue at night as you try to sleep. For example, take a deep breath…..did you arch your back and lift your ribs? This compensation in breathing creates a muscular system in extension overdrive and will make the muscles angry (after 20,000+ breaths in a day those muscles have every right to be angry!). My suggestion would be to find a therapist who is familiar with Postural Restoration (PRI) techniques, as this treatment philosophy is centered on restoring core control through efficient breathing patterns. Try a Google search of “postural restoration” + “your city” + “physical therapy”. Keep us updated and best of luck!


  40. Denise
    10 months ago

    Hello. My name is Denise I just stumble across your website. I am a single mother of 3 children and one who is severly autistic and I have to do everything for him, besides regular household chores I have no way around this….
    I live with pain everyday from sweeping and mopping to cooking and washing dishes I’ve tried relieving this pain from hot baths to arthritis creams nothing seems to relieve my pain any suggestions?


    • SpondyInfo
      10 months ago

      Hi Denise. Thanks for finding the site. First and foremost you need to find out the possible cause of your pain. Do you have a spondy, degenerative disc disease, stenosis, bulging disc, a combo of these, etc? There are so many conditions that could be present it makes it impossible to provide accurate information or guidance without more information.

      Assuming you have a kind of spondy, I can tell you that house chores can be a challenge. Especially holding children, sweeping floors and vacuuming. The reason is the odd angles you hold yourself in for long periods of time. You may also be compensating around the pain and discomfort causing even more awkward positions and situations for your body. Hot baths, creams and braces are more or less a band aid for the pain. They may provide some brief relief and cover up the pain, but as soon as you go about the chores or activities again the pain is right back. This is due to your movement and placing stress on certain muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc.

      As always, we recommend seeking out professional help to help you determine what is going on both internally with your condition and with your entire body and how it moves. Movement is often overlooked by spondy patients and I explain it in depth here: http://spondyinfo.com/how-poor-movement-can-affect-your-spondy-and-how-to-fix-it/

      Addressing your overall movement quality will help to improve upon how you move as a whole and will hopefully address some of the weaknesses that may be leading to your discomfort with these chores. I would suggest by reading the link listed above and begin looking for a certified professional who can help give you a more exact and definite path to improvement. Best of luck!


  41. Wayne
    10 months ago

    Where are you located & are you still have your practice open? From the information I’ve gleaned from the Spondy.com site I believe it’s worth my time to travel to where you’re at for a hands on evaluation.

    thanks!


    • SpondyInfo
      10 months ago

      Hi Wayne. I am glad you are learning from the site and I hope you continue to do so. As far as a clinic goes, SpondyInfo.com’s Co-creator Todd Bitzer is the owner and operator of a facility in the NW suburbs Chicago called Modern Athlete Physical Therapy. I would recommend giving Todd a call and I am sure he would be happy to discuss options with you your question in further detail.

      We often get requests from readers who would like to visit which is fantastic. More often than not we are able to work with them to help them find a therapist that is closer to them that has similar beliefs and certifications as we do. We can discuss this more over a call if you would like. Below is a link to Todd’s website. Here you can find his contact information and learn more about his clinic. When you do call, make sure to mention the website and how you learned about him. Todd is one of the best and will get back to you in a timely manner. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to email/respond in the comment section.

      Modern Athlete Physical Therapy = http://www.modernathletept.com


  42. Roger
    10 months ago

    Hello,
    My son who is 14 was diagnosed with grade 1 Spondolythesis about 6 weeks ago. He has been doing core strengthening exercises for three weeks now however he plays Ps4 about 6 hrs a day. This will prologue healing time won’t it? It is so hard to get through to him. He is extremely stubborn. He is supposed to be playing AAA ice hockey starting in Sept. Physiotherapist says it will take a month for sure to be strong enough to play. Do you agree? Thanks in advance!


    • SpondyInfo
      10 months ago

      Hi Roger. I was a young teenager as well when I was diagnosed and it can be a very tough time. I was so physically active that the pain and discomfort made everything so hard. It is really hard for me to accurately say if they time frame or diagnosis from the PT is accurate as I know nothing about your sons body, how he moves or the exact type, location or details about his spondy (the therapist should know all of this). I can tell you that sitting in front of the screen for 6 hours straight will not help the condition. Assuming he is not wearing a brace and on bedrest orders from the doctor, sitting and being sedentary for multiple hours at a time (especially in poor positions) makes it very, very hard for the body to improve upon weaknesses such as muscular timing, core strength, hip weakness, etc. I wish I could give you more advice or help on this specific situation, but there is really nothing more I can do than to tell you to explain to him the facts about the condition and hope he understands. Perhaps breaking up his time would be a start. Adding exercises and movements into his sessions would be better than nothing. Hope this helps and thanks for the question.


  43. Roger
    10 months ago

    so, his spondy is in the L5 and it is grade 1. the orthopedist we saw really didnt educate us about spondy and only said to not hyper extend his back. i guess we were naive and he did a session of cross fit. it seemed to cause a flair up or perhaps i should say set back in recovery . we went back to orthopedist and she didnt say much except ok he needs to go to physio. she thought it wasnt necessary to do another xray but i thought the displacement make have gotten worse. what do you think?


    • SpondyInfo
      10 months ago

      There are still multiple variables that would need to be addressed. Is the spondy a stable or unstable spondy? Isthmic, congenital or other kind? Here are a few blog posts that will help to understand more about the condition:

      http://spondyinfo.com/the-different-types-of-spondylolisthesis/

      http://spondyinfo.com/spondylolisthesis-grades/

      http://spondyinfo.com/what-is-spondylolisthesis-spondylolysis-part-1/

      With that being said I hear about and have personally experienced so many trips to doctors where a ton of information is just ignored. It’s sad really. Doctors may be busy, not concerned with the issue, having a bad day or may not know a ton about the condition. In all fairness there really isn’t a successful or in my opinion proper protocol to follow with spondy patients. There are so many variables and so many go untouched. Most of the time they see it’s a spondy and send the patient off to rehab. And often times the rehab professionals fail to educate and they follow a very cut and paste method in attempt to improve the patient that often fails.

      It makes me sad when people are not educated on this condition from their orthopedic or therapist, as education on this condition is key to improve the percentages of improving for the patient. My suggestion would be to get a few more opinions. Search for a few spine specialist and other doctors who may have had some experience with this condition. A general orthopedic would not have the expertise of a spine specialist or someone who deals with this on a daily basis. Set up a few appointments and gather as much information as you can. That will give you a solid understanding of not only the condition, but a solid understanding of EXACTLY what is going on with your son’s spine. Then you can locate and find a professional in the therapy field to help address the physical issues and weaknesses of your son to help get him on the right track to improvement. In my experience it takes much more than a few core strengthening exercises to see long-term improvement. This may sound like a lot of work, but I saw close to 8 doctors during my journey. I hope this information helps and best of luck!


  44. Janice
    9 months ago

    With regard to sleeping. I now sleep in an adjustable bed which has taken a lot of pressure off my back while I sleep. In addition, when my back flares up I can elevate the head of the bed to help me get out of it. It has been a great investment for me.


    • SpondyInfo
      9 months ago

      Thanks for sharing Janice!


  45. Curt
    7 months ago

    Great website for those with Spondylolisthesis problems. I (with a grade 2 – L5S1) have a couple of thoughts. Some of these you touch on throughout your website.
    1. Not all Human spondys are the same – we react differently.
    2. Some medications (like Cardura and other prostate meds) can wreck havoc on a spondy.
    3. I have found some help by bench pressing – it flattens the lower back allowing the L5 to slip back. Just be careful on lifting the weights up on the bar- I just keep it at 110 pounds.
    4. If I lie down to watch TV I put pillows under my sacrum which allows the L5 to slip down a little.
    5. If you strain your lower back it takes 7 – 10 days plus or minus to get back to normal.
    6. Quit lifting. Lifting is the biggest problem. Especially leaning over and lifting.
    7. Lose some weight. Cut out calories and fat has a lot of calories. No more fries.
    8. Do stomach crunches and lower the spine to the floor when doing them.
    9. Do stomach crunches a long time before even considering surgery because after surgery you still have to do exercises.
    10. Don’t over do things. Careful lifting or not at all.


    • SpondyInfo
      7 months ago

      Thanks for sharing Curt!

      I can’t 100% agree with your list (especially #6 and #8). I think lifting weights (done correctly after improving movement weaknesses) is one of the biggest factors in my personal improvement and I have personally seen the positive effects it has on other spondy patients as well. You do mention careful lifting in #10, and I believe this is the key. Most people who have movement weaknesses or issues try to lift or workout and end up making the problem worse. Having an expert eye who can guide you can make a big difference.

      Stomach crunches have been shown through studies to put stress on the spine. Overtime (if large quantities are performed and done so incorrectly) it can lead to issues. Before performing a ton of crunches, make sure you are not risking additional spinal health (this also depends on your spondy type and grade).

      Just like your tip #1, not everyone is the same. Working out or lifting may be more problematic for some and crunches fall into this category as well. On the other hand, working out or lifting along with crunches may greatly benefit others. The key to takeaway is you need to learn which category you fall in.

      Thanks again for sharing Curt, there is some great info in your post!


  46. kem alexander
    7 months ago

    Wow! Thank you for today’s thoughts/guidance/reading. It’s great to be reminded of some of the basics.


    • SpondyInfo
      7 months ago

      No problem Kem!


  47. Tapsy
    6 months ago

    Hi Justin

    What do you think about chiropractors generally?

    I have a bone bruise on my knee on femur which has played havoc with my back from all the limping and straining (I have a long standing grade one spondy l5/s1). It’s taking a long time to heal (I’ve heard 10-14 months). I have to do pt for it. I think my back needs to be addressed as well since I can barely lay on my back without pain and some of the knee rehab exercises require it. The rehab place I’m going to which is highly rated has a number of top PTs. They also have a chiropractor on staff and apparently he can recommend things to the pt etc. Do you think it is worth seeing him, letting him know about my spondy (just did an xray of it a few days ago) and seeing what he says? Do you think it is okay to let him adjust me in the context of letting him know i have spondy?

    Did you have pain or numbness in your legs due to your spondy? I haven’t experienced much of that. If you did, did this improve for you?

    One time a Mackenzie therapist wanted me to do the cobra extension position even though I told him i have spondy and it is contraindicated. he said no it is fine. I eventually just stopped doing pt with him because i was afraid of making the spondy worse. Would you have done the same thing? I’m wary of mackenzie guys.

    Do you do any extension exercises yourself like cobra? Do you think mild extension can be useful. I know this likely always depends on individual but I avoid it mostly.

    Thanks!


    • SpondyInfo
      6 months ago

      Hi Tapsy,

      I will do my best to get to all your questions.

      1.) In my personal experience Chiropractors are similar to therapists in the sense that you can run into some that help, some that make no difference and some that make things worse. I know this is a vague answer, but it is unfortunately how it is. I really cannot say if you should or should not go through with options Tapsy. The reason is due to the various characteristics that make your spondy so unique. Things such as spondy grade, spondy type, your past injury history etc all would need to be factored into the equation to come to a decision.

      Always make sure to mention your spondy before work is done and make sure you are comfortable with your chiropractor.

      It never hurts to get the opinions of other professionals. Opinions alone can only help you learn. The biggest thing comes down to trust and comfort. If you feel you trust this person and are comfortable with them then you should consider moving forward with treatment.

      I talk about chiropractic care throughout the blog, here are a few posts where I do so:

      http://spondyinfo.com/rehab-experiences-people-that-have-helped-me-the-most/

      http://spondyinfo.com/looking-back-at-my-spondylolisthesis-rehab-experiences/

      http://spondyinfo.com/what-is-the-best-kind-of-spondylolisthesis-rehab/

      2.) At the height of my flare ups I have severe pain in my hips and outside of my legs. Yes, as I got things under control the pain is only present if I have a severe setback. Which is luckily not very often these days. I used to get the flare ups almost monthly.

      3.) I have never worked with someone using Mckenzie methods, so I really cannot comment from the standpoint of personal experience. Your extension question is a tough one mainly because extension is something that is going to occur in daily life to a small degree. However, over doing it to an extent can lead to some issues (depending on you and your specific spondy). I have done some exercises or stretches that have extension in them, but again – that is me and my specific situation. I am comfortable with it because I know my body and what affects me/my spondy. Again, this comes down to what you are personally comfortable with like you mention. Trust is a HUGE component that is key to a successful rehab experience. If you do not trust your PT, looking elsewhere is always a good option.

      Hopefully that helps!


  48. Wendy Barrett
    5 months ago

    Hi, I’m a 47 year old Grade 1 spondy, a Personal Trainer and an ex-runner (12 years, daily). I’m on my feet for most of the day going through functional R.O.M exercises with my clients. My pain is constant and sleeping is tough. I rarely take pain killers but my specialist has asked me to consider cortisone injections. I hate taking ANY drugs…thoughts please?


    • SpondyInfo
      5 months ago

      Hi Wendy. I understand your pain. When I was working full time as a Strength and Conditioning coach I was never sitting, spending up to 12 hours a day on my feet. There were a few days that I did not think I could make it through the pain was so bad. I even had to take a day off a few times at the height of my pain.

      I am with you, I hate pain killers for various reasons. One doctor that I really trusted (he also had a spondy) explained to me that Cortisone Injections were comparable to a coin flip. They were a 50/50 proposition when it came to pain relief. Sometimes they reduce the pain, sometimes not. The key to remember is that they are simply a mask. Yes, they might help to briefly reduce your pain, but the pain will come back because the shots do not correct or fix the spondy, they just mask the pain. I never had one because of this and I instead focused on improving my overall movement and attack my weaknesses this way. I hope that helps!


  49. Rachel Roth
    5 months ago

    This is a great post Justin and thank you. To everyone with Spody but yourself a 30″ grabber it changed my life! Be sure to get one like the Grip and Grab {amazon has many with rubber in inside of grabber} you dont have to bend down you can pickup papers..shoes..anything u drop and reach for things and save your spine fr bending all day+ it helps with landry…and i use it as a cane too! its fun to use and half the time of the careful bending!


    • SpondyInfo
      5 months ago

      I am glad you enjoyed it Rachel!

      Thanks for sharing your tip as well. It’s comments like these that make this site so helpful for spondy patients!


  50. margaret barnes
    4 months ago

    found the article very helpful, walking is the most difficult and painful thing for me. just spur of the moment maybe fancying a walk to post a letter or get some milk, if I have been on my feet all day I would not be able to take that walk, unless it was first thing in the morning as fortunately I sleep quite well! I am not sure what grade my spondylolisthesis is? how do I find that out. I have a scoliosis also.


    • SpondyInfo
      4 months ago

      Hi Margaret. If you had any testing done by your doctor (imaging such as MRI or bone scan), your doctor should be able to take a look at the results and discuss with you your grade. I would recommend mentioning your grade to your doctor as some do not discuss this with their patients unless they ask.


  51. Annette
    4 months ago

    Hello – I was told I have spondylosis about 16 years ago when I was 19, but I’ve had the pain as far as I can remember, to about 4 years old. I have seen different PTs but am wondering if I should see a certain type of doctor? My pain has gotten worse over the years and I also wonder if these means I should have another scan done to see if the problem has gotten worse? I’m now to the point where standing still for any more than a couple of minutes has me bending over (embarrassingly, while I’m even talking to people sometimes) to try to lessen the pain. I’d like to know where to start?… I should probably purchase the book you have on here. I’m a very avid exerciser and am competing in my first 1/2 Ironman in April, but I basically train through/with pain and just try to work really hard at maintaining a strong core. When I bike, my back gets stiff, but its not too bad. Swimming does hurt it a bit, but I use a buoy and that helps. And running has to be slow and steady or I injure something every time.


    • SpondyInfo
      4 months ago

      Hi Annette. As far as a certain kind of doctor goes, I think it always helps to find someone who has experience with spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis. This sounds easy, but for many it is very hard due to location, size of their city, etc. If possible, I would also recommend seeing a few doctors for multiple opinions. Its never a bad idea to have your pain addressed when it is not improving and affecting your daily quality of life. Its possible you have something else going on with your back (another back condition such as stenosis, slipped disc, etc) that is leading to your current pain. The only way to find this out is to have another scan. Once this is complete I would recommend focusing on finding a therapist that can help to address your movement and help you improve upon your weaknesses. We discuss all of this information in our Step-By-Step Spondy Improvement Path. If you have any further questions, let me know. Best of luck!


  52. Armani
    3 months ago

    So I’ve been diagnosed with this since I was in the 5th grade and I’m in high school now. I just wanted to ask about why I get pain in my lower left back when I stand up. It hurts like that when I lay on my back It gets painful to walk only on my left leg. Its not the leg itself that hurts. Only that left lower back. That prevents me to walk normal for about 5 min. And then the pain is gone.


    • SpondyInfo
      3 months ago

      Hi Armani. To be honest there are many reasons why sitting may cause you discomfort and it may or may not be spondy related. So many in fact, that any answer I provide you with is like guesswork. The only real way to find out the culprit of the pain is to see a doctor and proceed with x-ray imaging and either a bone scan or MRI to give the doctor a visual of exactly what is going on internally. Common causes could be nerve impingement from spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine), bulging disc, spondylolisthesis, bone spurs, etc. I wish I could give you an exact answer, but there are so many variables and unknowns that make an exact answer nearly impossible.


  53. Adele
    2 months ago

    Hi I’m always taking the strongest prescribed co codamol,I’m seem to be crippled up when getting up off the settee,like everyone good days and bad days


    • SpondyInfo
      2 months ago

      Hi Adele. Thanks for finding the site and I hope you find it helpful in your spondy journey.


  54. Susan France
    2 months ago

    Sleeping on my back on a firm mattress with a foam mattress pad works best for me.
    I have had mild case of L5 misalignment for 2 years. Having a standing desk is a lifesaver for me. I move my legs while working to get the most exercise. I am very careful when bending over & usually crouch. Never wear high heels. After a while, one learns how to manage.
    Glad I found this website.


    • SpondyInfo
      2 months ago

      Hi Susan. Thanks for sharing. I am currently working on my next post which is going to discuss mattresses for spondy patients. This is great to know. I am glad you are enjoying the site!


  55. Susan France
    2 months ago

    How long does it take for comments to show up? I am using an IPad so wonder if that is an issue.
    Thank you.


    • SpondyInfo
      2 months ago

      Hi Susan. Your comments should show up immediately now that I have responded to them. The first time you post on our site, it takes a day or so and then after that they should show up immediately. I hope you are able to see them…Thanks for commenting!

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