Spondylolisthesis and Physiotherapy Management

Spondylolisthesis is defined as being the forward movement of one of the vertebrae in the spine away from adjacent vertebra. Spondylolisthesis is capable of occurring both in children and in adults, but it is different depending on who it is affecting. In children, Spondylolisthesis typically occurs in the fifth vertebrae in the lumbar region, known as L5 over the sacrum body (S1) because of a congenital malformation of their spine. In adults on the other hand, Spondylolisthesis typically occurs in L4, the fourth vertebra of the lumbar region over the fifth, L5, and it is commonly caused as a result of a degenerative disease like osteoarthritis. Spondylolisthesis is also commonly referred to as a slipped vertebra or a slipped spine.

One of the treatment options for Spondylolisthesis is physiotherapy management. Spondylolisthesis and physiotherapy management go well together for a number of reasons, making physiotherapy a solid choice for helping to treat the pain, discomfort and other symptoms that are associated with Spondylolisthesis.

Diagnosis for Spondylolisthesis begins with an x-ray of your lower spine. Most of the patients that are suffering from Spondylolisthesis on a mild basis are going to benefit from stretching and strengthening exercises and other physical treatments. Physiotherapy, also known as physical therapy or physiatrics is therapy that makes use of physical agents to recover from an illness or injury. Some examples of physiotherapy include massage and exercise. Exercise is one method of physiotherapy that definitely plays a role in helping to heal from the pain and discomfort associated with Spondylolisthesis.

Most physicians are not going to begin a treatment for spondylolisthesis until they have a complete as well as accurate diagnosis of your condition. The diagnosis can only be made by way of skeletal imaging, with x-ray being the most common method of diagnosis as it will show what degree of vertebral slippage as occurred. Once the degree of injury can be determined by way of an x-ray examination, the next step in the process is to accurately visualize the bone using a CT scan or a spinal MRI scan. Once it is known what effect your slipped vertebra is having on your spinal canal, proper physiotherapy treatment options can be indicated.

The most common method of active treatment for a Spondylolisthesis problem is physical therapy. Spondylolisthesis and physiotherapy work well together, because the back exercises prescribed in treatment of Spondylolisthesis work to relieve the pain while reducing the chance of further slippage. Reducing the chance of further slippage makes sure that the pain and the damage will not be made worse, and the exercises are specifically designed to reduce pain as well, making the patient more comfortable. Constructive treatment, which comes as a result of mixing Spondylolisthesis and physiotherapy exercises, is going to build the surrounding muscles up, providing for an increased range of comfortable motion.

When dealing with Spondylolisthesis, choosing physiotherapy is a treatment option that will help you overcome the pain and the discomfort associated with the injury.

Filed Under: Spondylolisthesis
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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2 thoughts on “Spondylolisthesis and Physiotherapy Management”

  1. Marc says:

    I read this type info alot. The question is… where can I find the back exercises mentioned for spondylolisthesis

  2. Admin says:

    Hi Marc,

    A good starting point is to get our back pain book to help educate yourself and to get a better understanding of your treatment options.


    Thank you

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