Spondylolisthesis

You are probably looking at this blog title and saying…spondyloli-what???

It seems like I have all kinds of skeletal issues.

Osteoarthritis

Osteonecrosis

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis sounds like a big word, however breaking it down makes it more simple.

Spondylo- refers to the “spine” and -listhesis refers to “slippage of”. Put it together and it means a slippage of the spine.

Spondylolisthesis is the condition where one vertebrae (bone of your spine) slips forward on an adjacent one. This usually occurs in the lumbar spine (lower back) in my case the

L5 S1

I also have a bilateral pars fracture in that area.

Those with a pars fracture may feel pain and stiffness in the lower back that is worsened with activity and improves with rest. Hyper-extension (abnormal stretching) of the lower back will usually aggravate the area as it overloads the pars fracture.

Occasionally, nerve symptoms can be present that may include a “pins and needles” sensation in a leg, with or without numbness or weakness in the leg.

Yes I have that a lot. It really sucks.

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.

Some days there is constant aggravating deep pain that make you feel like your pulling a iron ball around. It makes the hips ache, the knees ,gait is off ,it screws with your balance and nerve pain also come with it.

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

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.

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 FORYOU AND YOU ARE DOING THEM CORRECTLY. SEEK A PHYSICAL THERAPIST

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 to 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 and stretching regime that is designed by someone with the proper certification and credentials.

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

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