My Weekly Spondylolisthesis Proactive Plan

Spondylolisthesis Plan

In our last blog post I discussed how important it is to understand and implement a proactive plan to help keep your spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis pain under control.

You can read that post here: Spondylolisthesis Treatment Tip: The Importance Of Staying Proactive

I also mentioned in that post how staying proactive has helped to keep my spondylolisthesis pain away. One thing that I did not mention are the steps I take to stay proactive.

In this post I am going to discuss the 3 things that I do weekly to stay proactive against my spondylolisthesis.

Note: It is very important to understand that following 3 tips work for ME. Just because they work for me does not mean they are your ticket to moving and feeling better. Your first step should be to visit a doctor to be evaluated followed by a visit to a certified therapist to help you determine YOUR proactive plan.

In the beginning stages of my spondylolisthesis I had a horrible cycle that would play itself out like clockwork. My cycle may sound very familiar to you…….

  • Get horrible low back, leg and buttock pain
  • Scramble to find a doctor to get examined
  • Go to therapy
  • Either feel better or see little to no improvement
  • Finish therapy
  • Time would pass and this cycle would start all over

Once I learned on my own (and with the help of a great therapist) what my personal weaknesses were and how to improve them I decided to stay on top of my weaknesses and REALLY work on them.

Even when I felt better and had no signs of pain, I continued to improve my body and how it moved.

Like so many others, in the past I would feel better then take a step back and lay off my spondylolisthesis exercises, stretches or other forms of treatment.  Once I took a step back, the pain was quick to return.

Since learning about my weaknesses I continue to work on them weekly.  I have not had a crippling (by crippling I mean unable to get out of bed) episode for over a year and a half, compared to when I used to get them several times a year if not monthly.

Staying proactive has drastically reduced my spondylolisthesis pain and discomfort.

Assuming you have taken the steps necessary to get diagnosed and had a proper spondylolisthesis therapy experience, do what you can to stay proactive.

Don’t just wait for the next flare up. Figure out your weaknesses, address them, and stay on top of them.

 

My Weekly 3 Step Spondylolisthesis Proactive Plan

 

1. Foam roll and stretch my specific weaknesses to keep my muscle tissue quality and length at optimal levels.

I personally take the foam roll and stretch exercises I have learned that worked the best for me and continue to do them on a weekly basis.

spondylolisthesis mobility work

One of my target areas for mobility work is the thoracic spine.

I will foam roll and stretch a minimum of 3 times a week depending on how busy my week is.

No matter what, I make time to perform this schedule on a consistent basis.  This was always a problem for me in the past, but since I have gotten in a routine it has become easier to stay consistent.

If I am traveling or am super busy, I will commit to at least 5 minutes and perform 1 or 2 stretches that I believe are the most beneficial for my weaknesses.

2. Exercise consistently.

This is a huge must for me. Pay attention to how I underlined the word consistently. That is my key.

Over the years I have noticed that more than 3 days of inactivity causes flare ups for my spondylolisthesis pain.

Therefore I must stay active, healthy and functionally strong.  My workouts are 30-40 minutes max and I aim to perform them every other day.  I usually rest during the weekends but try to stay active by playing with my kid, going for walks, or playing active sports such as golf.

Again, if I am super busy, traveling or simply having a “not so great” day. I will simply perform 1 or 2 exercises I find to be the most helpful. I try to keep things simple, this really helps me to stay consistent.

I change my exercises once a month to provide my body with a new stimulus.

I always keep my weaknesses in mind when creating my workouts.

3. Eat well (80% of the time)

I am not a dietitian or nutritionist so providing you with exact advice about food would not be appropriate.

Eating healthy, well balanced meals provides your body with important nutrients and antioxidants that play a huge role in reducing the amount of inflammation in your body.

But what I have noticed is eating healthy also reminds me how important it is to be active. Let me explain……

If I were to sit around and eat fried food, potatoes chips and slam beer every day I would be more prone to obesity and inactivity.  All of the poor food choices drive down the energy levels and lead to more and more inactivity.  I know inactivity is what creates my back to flare up. Therefore I do what I can to avoid it.

Kozzi-salmon-steak-with-green-salad-on-a-plate-294 X 440

Eating healthy helps me to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep my spondylolisthesis pain at bay.

Don’t get me wrong, I am no health food fanatic. I still indulge on beer or have food most would consider unhealthy every now and then, but for the most part I avoid refined carbs and sugars.

I have to keep my sanity by cheating every now and then, but eating healthy 80% of the time has really helped me stay active which in turn reduces my spondylolisthesis pain.

Give healthier eating a try to help you stay consistently pain free. You may be suprised with the carry over.

Those are my 3 weekly musts for being proactive against my spondylolisthesis.  It has been that simple for me and I am confident you can find a routine that helps you to control your pain.

Do you have anything you do to stay proactive?  I would love to hear about it, let me know in the comment section below what you have found to work the best. Your suggestions or comments could end up helping someone else.

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Leave A Reply (5 comments so far)


  1. Ken
    1 month ago

    Justin…I think I’ve read every one of your blog posts. I have a grade one spondy…just found out mid August. Healthy athletic guy … Just turned 40. Never worked out heavy … Just active in sports all my life especially as a kid all the way through school and college. You mentioned that your flare ups in the beginning were severe…was it back pain and sciactic pain or just back pain. I am seeing a Dr.


    • SpondyInfo
      1 month ago

      Hi Ken. Thank you for following the blog and I hope the information has helped you in your Spondylolisthesis battle. My severe back pain and flare ups had nerve pain involved. Not only did I have specific muscular pain in my low back, but I also had radiating pain in my hips and upper legs. So I believe there was some kind of nerve pain involved. I hope that answers you question and best of luck!


  2. Ken
    1 month ago

    I am seeing a Dr. of PT recommended off of your links on the resource page. I’ve had xray and MRI … met with a surgeon just to be on his radar…but he says I am not not probably ever will be a surgery candidate. My PT doctor is working with me on movement and strength exercises for my core. I was just curious since I do have sciactica because of my spondy causing…some stenosis what you would recommend.


    • SpondyInfo
      1 month ago

      Hi Ken. Thats great news that the surgeon believes you can avoid surgery. I would highly recommend having your movement as a whole assessed by certified professional. This will help you discover exactly what your weaknesses are and what you need to focus on moving forward. I explain more about this in a recent post that you can read here: https://spondyinfo.com/locate-rehab-professional-spondy/

      Let me know if you have any other questions…Best of luck!


  3. Ken
    1 month ago

    Justin,
    I am searching now for a local specialist to help me analyze movements, etc. Since my sciactic pain is only at my calf level and not thigh is that any more serious than thigh or back, or buttocks level? In other words should I be more concerned about the nerve health in this case…? I believe it is more of stenosis issue

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