Exercises used for lumbar spondylolisthesis treatment

Gentle stretching and low-impact exercise are commonly used treatments for patients with spondylolisthesis. While you may initially think it is wise to take it easy, remaining active throughout your spondylolisthesis treatment can actually help you find meaningful pain relief. However, not all exercises are appropriate for people with spondylolisthesis. For example, those with this condition should be sure to avoid heavy lifting and high-impact sports such as football.

What exercises are good for spondylolisthesis?

Performing the right exercises as part of your spondylolisthesis treatment program can help promote strength and flexibility in the muscles that support the spine, which can lead to reduced stress on the spine and pain relief. Ask your doctor if the following three exercises may help relieve your pain:

  1. Pelvic tilt. Lie on your back with your knees bent and both feet flat against the floor. Focus on pulling your belly button toward your spine and flatten your lower back against the floor. Hold for 10 seconds and then relax. Repeat this exercise for a total of five times.
  2. Double knee to chest. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Push your lower back against the floor as you pull both knees up toward your chest. Hold for five seconds and lower your feet back to the ground. Repeat for a total of five times.
  3. Arm/leg raises. Start this exercise on your hands and knees. While tightening your core, extend your right leg out behind you and your left arm out in front of you simultaneously. Lower your arm and leg and repeat with your left leg and right arm. Repeat this sequence for a total of 10 times.

If you experience more than mild discomfort while performing these exercises, stop immediately and contact your physician.

If low-impact exercise and other conservative treatments do not relieve your spondylolisthesis pain after several weeks or months, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our minimally invasive surgery. Performed on an outpatient basis, our procedures offer many advantages over open spine surgery, including shorter recovery times and less risk of infection.^ If you are interested, we will gladly provide you with a free MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate for our procedures.