Spondylolisthesis Back Pain Exercises & Stretches

Hi, I'm Doctor Jo, a licensed Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy. I hope you enjoy my video demos of stretches & exercises for common injuries and syndromes. If you have a question, just ask. Be safe. Have fun. And I hope you feel better soon.

There are many different things that can cause back pain. You can be diagnosed with many scary sounding things. In some cases the spine becomes weakened or fractured and it is unable to maintain its proper position. The vertebra can start to shift out of place. This condition is called spondylolisthesis. If too much slippage occurs, the bones may begin to press on nerves and surgery may be necessary to correct the condition.  However, you can stretch and strengthen the muscles around the spine and possibly prevent the need for surgery.

The first exercise is called a pelvic tilt. Lie down on your back with your knees bent. You want to imagine pushing your belly button into the ground, or push your back flat onto the ground like you are squishing something. You can put your hand under the curve of your back, and try to push your back into your hand. Make sure you are breathing and not holding your breath while doing these exercises! You should also feel your pelvis rotate backwards slightly while doing this. Try for just five second holds, doing about 5 -- 10 and then work your way up to 30-second holds three times.

Next, keep your knees bent and flatten your back into the ground; slowly lift one leg just a little off the ground while you are raising the opposite arm above your head. Alternate back and forth and try about ten at a time.  

Next, bring both knees to your chest, and hold it for 30 seconds doing it three times. This is called a double knee to chest stretch.

Finally, you will stretch your hamstrings. You can check out my hamstring stretches video for other ways to stretch your hamstrings. Here you will need a belt, beach towel, or dog leash. Wrap it around the ball of your foot. Try to keep your leg straight and pull your leg up in the air towards you as far as you can comfortable go without bending your knee. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.


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