Stretching for spondylolisthesis relief

In addition to other conservative treatments recommended by your physician, stretching can be a way to relieve spondylolisthesis symptoms and allow you to live a normal life. Through proper stretching techniques, you could temporarily increase space in your spinal column and decompress pinched nerves, which could help reduce the pain and other symptoms of spondylolisthesis.

Stretching advice

First, always check with your physician and/or physical therapist before starting any new stretching routine. Some other things to keep in mind when stretching for spondylolisthesis relief include:

  • Don’t push yourself — Many people with spondylolisthesis are athletes and are used to pushing themselves physically to excel in their sport. However, don’t be taken in by this temptation because pushing yourself too hard when stretching can actually cause more harm than good, and you might end up accelerating your condition rather than helping it.
  • Choose your exercises wisely — The stretching you perform should be based on the type and location of spondylolisthesis you’re diagnosed with. For example, if you have cervical spondylolisthesis, then your stretches should focus on your neck, upper back, arms and shoulders. Patients with lumbar spondylolisthesis, however, might be better served by stretching their lower back and legs, especially their hamstrings.
  • Be consistent — It’s easy to start strong and let yourself slack off after a while, but as with any routine, stretching will give you the most benefits if you do it regularly. Commit to spending 15 minutes every morning or another convenient time for your schedule.
  • Alter your fitness routine — You might be used to running five miles every day, but with spondylolisthesis, your exercise routine should be dictated by your symptoms and your condition. Speak with your physician about low-impact ways to maintain fitness and stick to those. Your stretches should also correspond to the exercises you perform. For example, if you work your lower body, stretch those muscles as well to avoid having them tighten up.

Learn more

For more tips on stretching for spondylolisthesis relief, conservative treatments for the condition and the minimally invasive procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute to treat spondylolisthesis, contact us. We offer multiple procedures that have been proven to treat spondylolisthesis for those patients who do not find relief through conservative methods. Our Spine Care Consultants can review your most recent MRI or CT scan and let you know if you’re eligible for one of our outpatient procedures.