Spondylolisthesis Yoga Interview

One of my favorite things about running a blog that focuses on spondylolisthesis and spondylolysis is the opportunities it provides to help so many people.

On a daily basis I am able to communicate and help so many people that I would never have had the opportunity to do so without this website.

Recently, I was contacted by another website owner who enjoys helping people, Lucas Rockwood of YogaBody.com.  Lucas was curious if I was interested in joining his talk show for an interview.

Lucas is well known in the Yoga community and has a formal yoga training background in Hot Yoga, Astanga Yoga, Gravity Yoga and the Yoga Trapeze, he has also studied with some of the most well-respected teachers on the planet.

Lucas founded the Absolute Yoga Academy in 2006, one of the top 10 yoga teacher training schools in the world with 2,000 certified teachers.

He also created and operates a very successful and popular Podcast in the Yoga community and I was thrilled when he reached out to me to discuss Spondy’s.

lucas

In Episode 221 of his podcast titled Ouch, My Back Hurts! I spent around 30 minutes with Lucas and we went over some great content:

  • We discussed what a spondy is and the differences between a spondylolysis and spondylisthesis.
  • I talk about my spondy history and what I have learned along the way.
  • We went over why doctors are often pain-removal focused opposed to how patients are often times full-function focused
  • I also explain why committing as little as 10 minutes a day to your body can help improve how you move and feel.

Even if you are not into Yoga, this is a great Podcast with some great Spondy information. I encourage you to give it a listen!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

Or visit YogaBody.com to listen.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what we discussed.

If you have any questions or comments please post them below and I will get back to you!

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Leave A Reply (12 comments so far)


  1. Kevin
    9 months ago

    Justin,

    Greta information and great job on the webcast. I really enjoyed listening to the discussion, interaction and information. Hopefully you can do more of these events. I think the info and discussion would be great for folks. Again, great job!!

    Kevin


    • SpondyInfo
      9 months ago

      Thanks Kevin! I am glad you enjoyed it. Im hopeful I can get some more of these lined up for the future.


  2. Steve Levy
    8 months ago

    Justin,
    I enjoyed the discussion and sent it to my yoga instructor and she got a lot out of it, too. Particularly because she wasn’t familiar with “spondys” this was super helpful for her so thanks very much for putting that together.

    Question: What’s your professional opinion about squatting and spondylolisthesis? Since I was diagnosed a year ago, I’ve been reluctant to squat even with light weights. I have incorporated some kettle bell squats into my routine and I’m watching my technique closely. I loved doing traditional squats and would love to start doing them again. Appreciate your thoughts on that.

    Best,
    Steve


    • SpondyInfo
      8 months ago

      Hi Steve. Thanks for sharing that with your yoga instructor and I am glad she found it helpful.

      As far as squats go with spondy’s I feel it is something that is a case by case basis with multiple layers or factors that should be considered before an outcome is determined for the individual involved. For example, the type of spondy and grade of spondy should be considered. Also, the specific weaknesses of the individual need to be considered. If someone has an imbalance or weakness in the hip area that leads to an asymmetry (think stronger right side when compared to the left, etc), they tend to favor that side causing them to “lean” during the bi-lateral squat. Overtime this can lead to more issues and pain.

      Other considerations such as injury history should be considered as well. This is just another reason why we are so big on full body screening methods to help the practitioner determine if there are specific weaknesses present. I know that is really not an answer to your question, but the question is very complex. Personally I am a big fan of single leg squats and I use them weekly. I sprinkle in some bi-lateral squats every now and then but I do not go particularly heavy. Like you I focus on technique and quality. My advice to you would be to listen to your body. Avoid something that leads to pain or discomfort, as your body is your best feedback mechanism. If you would like a more accurate answer, I would highly recommend seeking out a professional in your area to help you determine if your movement is sound enough for the squatting pattern. I hope that helps and thanks again!


  3. Steve L
    7 months ago

    Thanks Justin. As you well know, the battle with the spondy pain takes a lot of diligence, motivation, and patience. I’ve worked with a full-body movement specialist here in my area and he gave me quite a few exercises. I’ve incorporated what you’ve published as well. It’s strange how spondy pain comes and goes. Some weeks, I feel great. Other times, it’s acting up and really aggravating. I think, in general, that’s what is so frustrating about having a spondy.


    • SpondyInfo
      7 months ago

      Hi Steve. Thanks for commenting. I agree with you 100%. The ups and downs are definitely on of the most frustrating things. What really helped me with this is keeping a journal, especially when I was getting pains/inflammation. It gave me the ability to look back and determine what the possible culprits could have been. Over time I have been able to reduce the causes and improve the time that I go pain free. Here is a post that explains this more: http://spondyinfo.com/spondylolisthesis-therapy-tip-keep-a-journa/

      I hope this helps!


  4. Steve L
    7 months ago

    Thanks, Justin. Great Idea. I’ll keep a journal and track it. I’m probably like a lot of people. I start feeling better for a bit and slack off, thinking things are on the mend and then it flares up. I need to be consistent with the exercise approach. Let me ask you something, Justin: how often, generally, do you have flare-ups? Every few weeks? Months? Varies? Best,Steve


    • SpondyInfo
      7 months ago

      Your exactly right Steve. The viscious cycle of feeling bad —> slightly improving —> slacking off with exercises and movements —> flare ups is an all too common theme for spondy patients. The key is to improve, know and understand what your weaknesses are and continually work on them. Refining them along the way to help you save time and energy. I used to experience flare ups monthly. Every other month I would have an extremely terrible flare up. So bad I would be stuck in bed. I needed help out of bed at one point (I was in my early 20’s), had to call into work sick and missed various events all because of my horrible flare ups. Since understanding my body and improving my weaknesses I have not had a flare up like this in years. I have been able to manage it to the point where I know when things bother me. I listen to my body and immediately attack my weaknesses. It has worked really well for me and I hope others can benefit from it as well.


  5. Steve Levy
    3 months ago

    Hi Justin,
    I’ve had one of those spondy flare-ups today and, oddly, it came up after my yoga practice. The pain doesn’t radiate down the legs but gnaws at me. On a 1-10 scale, it’s about a 4 (10 being the most painful). I did some foam rolling, additional stretching, and the pain is still there but now starting to mellow a bit. I have grade 1 spondy at L5. I haven’t been back to my Physical therapist in about a year now. He’s a certified FMS and helped a lot. He also gave me exercises to do on my own and all of this has helped. My question since you’re also certified: do you think I should go back for a follow-up? See what he thinks? Perhaps get on a once a month regimen with him? I feel like I need something tangible and someone to tell me I’m doing the right thing. I’m very motivated and for a 53 year old, I’m in very good shape–that’s what is so darn frustrating. I feel like I’m doing all the right things: stretching, weights, rolling, paddle boarding, yoga, etc. It’s hard for people without a spondy to empathize with the grating pain and I feel like I need not only professional therapeutic support, but moral support as well. Thanks man..! Steve


    • SpondyInfo
      3 months ago

      Hi Steve.

      Absolutely. Following up will allow him to take a look at you and provide information and suggestions from a physical and exercise standpoint that can help to improve upon your weaknesses. I always recommend follow ups due to the many fluid changes that can occur over time.

      Your recent flare up sounds very common from the standpoint that an activity (specific stretch or movement from yoga in this case) may have touched upon one of your weaknesses. Say for example you have poor firing patterns in your core along with a weakness in your hips/pelvic complex. Any movement or stretch that requires the coordination and support of these areas would be a challenge for you. Naturally, your body may attempt to compensate and sometimes the end result is additional stress and strain on the spine (in your case perhaps your spondy). This can lead to inflammation and discomfort. Again, this is just an example, but to find answers for your exact situation reaching out to your certified PT puts you in a great position to figure it out.

      Also, start taking notes on what movements/exercises give you difficulties both in the moment and after sessions. This way you can start to narrow down what may leading to the flare ups and you can improve upon theses weaknesses. It sounds like you are on the right path….keep it up!


  6. Stephen Levy
    3 months ago

    Thanks, Justin. Just made my appointment with my PT/SFMA. I have to go back to my GP just to get the script written and referred. I’ll definitely begin taking notes as you suggested. This will drive my wife crazy! 🙂
    Appreciate the feedback, Justin.
    Steve


    • SpondyInfo
      3 months ago

      No problem Stephen!

      Keep me informed of your progress along the way….best of luck!

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