Move Freely | Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic | Edinburgh

What is Spondylolisthesis?

What is Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is where one of the vertebrae slips forwards, this causes instability in the spine and can cause pain.

It most commonly occurs in the lower back but can also happen in the mid to upper back and the neck.

Spondylolisthesis is where one of the vertebrae slips forwards, this causes instability in the spine and can cause pain.

It most commonly occurs in the lower back but can also happen in the mid to upper back and the neck.

Not all people who have Spondylolisthesis experience symptoms.

Those who do have symptoms may experience lower back pain, pain or numbness down the back of one leg; this occurs when the bone is pressing on the sciatic nerve.

Other symptoms include curvature of the spine and tight hamstrings.

What causes spondylolisthesis?

  • Repeated trauma to the spine causes defects in the spine causing it to slip. This is most common in athletes such as gymnasts.

  • It can also be caused by the joints of the spine being worn down over time. This is most common in older people.

  • A sudden injury or trauma to the spine.

At our Edinburgh clinic, we would prescribe manual therapies or other pain-relieving techniques to reduce your pain and muscle spasms.

Exercises will be aimed at recruiting your deep spinal stabilising muscles. You may also be prescribed gentle stretches to improve your posture and help to reduce your back pain or leg symptoms.

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Spondylolisthesis is where one of the vertebrae slips forwards, this causes instability in the spine and can cause pain.

It most commonly occurs in the lower back but can also happen in the mid to upper back and the neck.

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We have all been told “don’t bend your back like that”, “sit up straight” or “keep your back straight when you lift”?But is this true? Should we be afraid to bend over? Will our spines all break if we don’t keep them straight or is it just part of normal life?

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