My 5 Daily Spondylolisthesis Stretches/Movements – Part 6

spondylolisthesis stretch

Welcome to the sixth and final installment of SpondyInfo.com’s “My 5 Daily Spondylolisthesis Stretches/Movements”.

For those of you who missed it, I had an introduction followed by 5 posts demonstrating a stretch or movement that I do every day to help maintain my quality of movement and keep my body moving and feeling at optimal levels.

In case you missed the first 5 installments, you can find them here:

Part 1 – The Introduction

Part 2 – Deep Body Weight Squat

Part 3 – Toe Touch w/ Hold

Part 4 – The “U” Stretch

Part 5 – Glute Squeeze

Reading the articles in order will give you a good idea on not only why I perform these stretches every day, but why you should look into including a quick warm-up routine into your daily life.

As always, please keep in mind the ideal situation is for you to get a movement screen from a certified individual and determine what your PERSONAL weaknesses are and work with a rehab specialist to help you develop a few warm up movements designed specifically for you.

If you have yet to do this we highly recommend you read our disclaimer and ALWAYS speak to your doctor BEFORE starting any new exercise or stretching program.

Also, keep in mind this warm-up is not for all spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis patients. As you probably know by now spondy’s are unique to the individual and each situation is different.  If you have severe pain or discomfort present you will want to speak with your medical professionals due to the complexities and severities of your situation.

The final stretch I am going to cover is one that is very specific to me and my personal situation.

One of my favorite hobbies is golf and ever since I began moving better and decreasing my spondy related pain I have been able to enjoy this sport once again.

As many of you already know, golf is a sport that requires the same movement over and over and over. This movement places tons of stress on one side of the body while completely ignoring the opposite side.

If stretching and movement work is avoided this can lead to asymmetries and imbalances within the body. And this is not something I want to cause a problem with my spondy.

To fight this I perform various exercises and stretches with my workouts, but I also perform the following stretch every day.

 

Stretch/Movement #5 = Long Lat Stretch

 

Why I Do It

One area that I noticed getting tight during the height of the golf season was the lat area on my left side. I am a right handed golfer so my follow through ends up placing a ton of stress on the left side of my body during the follow through.

To fight this and to keep one of the longest muscles in the human body at an optimal length I began performing a daily lat stretch and eventually I added this stretch to my daily 5.

How I Do It

Spondylolisthesis stretch

Long Lat Stretch – Start Position

Start by holding onto an object that is solid. A door knob, railing, etc will all work just fine.

Keep the back as straight as possible and avoid hyperextension.

In the starting position you should feel the weight in the upper half of your body, not back on your heels.

Spondylolisthesis Stretch

Long Lat Stretch – Finish

While you continue to hold onto the object, place the leg of that arm that is holding on backwards without sacrificing your back position.

Your weight then shifts back and you are trying to stick your butt back (this helps to shift the weight and induce a stretch).

Since this is a tight area for me I feel a great stretch. Others may not due to good mobility or flexibility in these areas.

I perform this stretch for 5 reps on each side for 5 second holds.  I really focus on nice, slow, deep breaths during each rep.

There you have it…..The five daily stretches/movements that I do on a daily basis to maintain my quality of movement and ensure that I stay moving and feeling well.

Keep in mind these are not the only things I do as I also work out and perform various stretches a few times a week, but this is what I do every day.

I also cannot stress the importance of searching for a professional who can help you create your own 5 daily spondylolisthesis stretches/movements to attack your personal weaknesses.

If you are cleared for activities from your doctor and would like to follow along with my stretches I created a simple cutout card that you can print and cut out.

Print it, cut it out and place it anywhere you will notice it to help you remember to perform these (or your specific stretches) daily.

1. Deep Squat = 1 set of 30 seconds

2. Toe Touch = 5 times of a 5 second hold

3. U Stretch = 5 times of a 5 second hold

4. Glute or Butt Squeeze = 3 sets of 10 seconds

5. Long Lat Stretch = 5 reps on each side for 5 second holds

Total this takes only 160 seconds of work or just less than 3 minutes.  Personally, I like to enjoy the stretching and take my time. Most of the time it takes me between 5-7 minutes to complete the whole thing as I may spend a little extra time on a tight or sensitive area for that day.

I encourage you to discover what areas you need to improve on, create your own daily spondylolisthesis stretching program and get after it!

Many of you probably wonder if adding a daily stretching routine to your regimen will completely clear up your spondy pain?

The honest answer is probably not for everyone. But locating where your personal movement issues lie along with improving how YOU move may just lead to less days slumped over in pain. And that is something I think we could all agree would be very, very nice.

Stay consistent with this and watch and feel how much better you move.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about not only this stretch, but this entire series of posts.

Please chime in below with any questions or comments you may have.

I look forward to talking with you!

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Leave A Reply (7 comments so far)


  1. Rupinder Kaur
    3 years ago

    Hello Justin,

    I am a 37-year-old lady with two cesarean sections and a history of kidney stones. I am working as a medical transcriptionist from home from 9 to 5 and taking breaks in between.

    I lifted weight last year continuously for two to three months sometimes of 20 kg and other times 10 or 5 for some feet. After that I have severe low back pain. It radiates to lower abdomen and legs and feet also, right more than left. Recently I got my MRI done and it reports grade 1 anterolisthesis of L5 over S1, diffuse disc bulge causing mild indentation of anterior thecal sac, bilateral neural foraminal narrowing with mild impingement of bilateral traversing nerve roots.

    L1-L2 19 mm, L2-L3 19 mm, L3-L4 20 mm, L4-L5 18 mm, and L5-S1 17 mm. Please tell me in simple words if you can what that means. I have followed up with some doctors and every one advised me to undergo an operation for that. As I have young children and I am not sure about the success rate of this type of surgery, I do not want to have that done. I do not want to use pain killers. I want to get rid of this problem permanently. Can you advise me something what to do. I am waiting for your reply. Please help me.


    • Spondy
      3 years ago

      Hi Rupinder. MRI’s and the medical jargon can paint a scary picture. Mix that with pain and uncertainty and life (especially with young kids at home) that already feels full….it’s certainly overwhelming.

      Because of practice laws, I can’t tell you what to do. I’m sure you understand that. The best advise I can offer is to demand the answers and explanations from your doctors. You deserve that and it is their job. You need to understand what is happening in your body, and you need to understand ALL of your options. If the surgeon or other physician is rushing and can’t (or won’t) take the time to give you a thorough explanation to YOUR satisfaction, then seek another opinion.

      It is not unusual to encounter rushed physicians — it’s largely a product of the insurance-based world we have created. Try not to look at getting multiple opinions as “shopping” for a doctor. You aren’t looking for a doctor to tell you what you want to hear, but instead for a doctor who will fully disclose what you NEED. What you need may indeed point to one procedure (such as surgery), but they should also list the alternatives and the potential outcomes.

      Keep in mind that physicians don’t have a crystal ball. An MRI is a start to “see” what’s going on, but surgeons will admit that what the MRI says is not always the reality of what is really happening in your back — sometimes not as bad, sometimes worse.

      Your symptoms and success (or lack thereof) with a sound attempt at conservative treatment such as rehabilitation or even injections may guide your decision for surgery or not. Your physicians will tell you if this is even a safe option for you right now.

      As far as the MRI….The “grade 1 anterolisthesis of L5 over S1” is a spondylolisthesis in which the L5 vertebra (on top) has slid forward on the S1 vertebra (on bottom). Grade 1 means that the movement is minimal (typically suggesting that conservative treatment may be successful in reducing symptoms).

      What the MRI doesn’t tell you is whether or not the spondylolisthesis (forward slippage) is stable or unstable. The slippage is present when you are lying on your back for the MRI. But what happens when you bend, twist, or extend your back? If extra movement occurs, then the spondylolisthesis is termed “unstable” and can be more difficult to rehabilitate. If no (or very minimal) movement occurs at the vertebra during bending, extending, or rotating then your symptoms RELATED TO THE SPONDYLOLISTHESIS have a good chance of resolving.

      Your symptoms in the legs and feet are more likely related to the nerve root impingement identified in the MRI. The “foraminal narrowing” suggests that the nerve is being pinched as it exits the spine. I would suggest getting your doctor’s opinion as to what is causing the narrowing of this exit point — is it the disc bulge, degeneration / loss of height of the disc between the L5 and S1 vertebrae, the shift (spondylolisthesis) between the L5 and S1 vertebrae, etc? This may determine what types of procedures they are suggesting.

      I hope that helps. Best wishes to you for a positive long-term solution. Remember, demand that the physicians give you their time until you understand all of your options. And don’t be afraid to get multiple opinions.


  2. Rae
    3 years ago

    I was diagnosed with bilateral spondyloses L5-S1 with grade 2 spondylothesis and significant space narrowing L5-S1 through X-rays by my chiropractor. I am waiting to see my doc to request an MRI for more information. I play competitive women’s soccer and have been told to take some time off for the inflammation to settle. I am 38 yrs old and have two kids. I do have a lot of low back pain especially first thing in the a.m. And when rolling from my back to my side. I had a massage two days before finding out what was going on and I could not get off the bed. My legs were weak and my back and hips hurt a ton. My chiro has said no more belly down massages and has said he will not manually adjust my low back anymore but may consider the activator. His adjustments provide great relief but I can see his fear. I am working on finding someone to do a movement assessment. I am in calgary canada. Where is a good place to look to find out who does them?


    • Spondy
      3 years ago

      Hi Rae. I understand your concerns. You are definitely doing the right think by seeing an MD to further help you in the diagnosis process. I would recommend visiting the MD and the odds are he is going to have some recommendations for Physical Therapy. Try to grab two or three names/clinics of therapist that he/she recommends. I would then call these places and see if they offer any kind of FMS or SFMA movement screening analysis. You can learn more about them on our Spondy Toolbox Page here: http://spondyinfo.com/helpful-spondy-resources/
      When you call simply state what your situation is and that you are interested in receiving the FMS and/or the SFMA prior to your therapy script. Some clinics/therapists will know what you are talking about and some may not. But do not get frustrated if they do not have it. Keep searching. Ideally it would be nice to find a certified physical therapist who offers these screens. If you visit the FMS link from our Spondy Toolbox page you will be able to enter your location and find a certified instructor near you to administer the test. Try this if none of the doctors recommendations offer the screening methods. Again, try to find a certified therapist not just a personal trainer. There is nothing wrong with personal trainers administering the test, but the odds are very high that if you explain to them you have a spondy they are going to refer you to therapist. You last option is to simply call some of the personal trainers, explain your situation and ask them if they have any contacts (physical therapist) that they know of that offer the FMS or SFMA. More than likely they will. Best of luck and please stay in touch!


  3. sandy dwelley
    2 years ago

    These are great stretches I can feel a cardivascular benefit from these , helps the pain in my right knee area and above I also have fibromylatgia and these arent too strenioushanks


    • SpondyInfo
      2 years ago

      Great to hear Sandy!

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