28 Apr Spondylolisthesis
What is it?
Spondylolisthesis occurs when a bone from the lower spine (a vertebra) slips out of position. This is not to be confused with a herniated disc, when one of the spinal discs in-between the vertebrae ruptures. There are different grades of slippage which can alter the impact spondylolisthesis has on an individual.
Many people with spondylolisthesis may not realise they have the condition as it doesn't always cause symptoms. However if you do have symptoms these will vary in severity from person to person and these may be:
- lower back pain or tenderness– which might be worse with activity or when standing, and is often relieved by lying down;
- pain, numbness or a tingling sensation radiating down your legs (sciatica);
- tight hamstring muscles;
- excessive curvature of the spine (kyphosis).
If you have persistent back pain or stiffness, persistent pain in your thighs or buttocks and your back curves outwards excessively you should seek advice from your GP.
How can Pilates help?
Pilates focus for Spondylolisthesis will focus on strengthening the back and core, postural improvements and trying to stretch the hamstring muscles. Exercises could include arms on back, dead bugs, hamstring stretch, bridges, 4 point kneeling and side lying. Individuals with spondylolisthesis should avoid exercises that involve back extension and forward flexion.
Always ensure that you are working with an experienced and qualified Pilates teacher and seek advice from your health professional before embarking upon any exercise.
Other sources of information