Patient Comments: Spondylolisthesis - Symptoms

What symptoms do you experience with your spondylolisthesis?

Comment from: hallasun, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 16

I get severe muscle cramps which sometimes start out with a jumpy nervous tingle just under the surface, followed by such a terrific pain that goes up and down my legs. Often the tendons on the sides of my legs contract so far that they bend my foot inward. It also can happen that I get a massive 'Charlie horse' cramp in the calf. It happens usually if I have been sitting for a long time and then get up. Quite often I get it after lying in bed. The pain is so severe that it makes me shout out. It can last for a few seconds or 20 minutes. There is no letting up of extreme pain however long it lasts. When I am in the cramp I try to formulate in my mind how to describe it to the doctor but I seem to be at a loss to do so as it doesn't always follow the same pattern. I have noticed sometimes that it feels hot. I get some form of this every day, sometimes more than once a day. I recently started going to an acupuncturist and after the first treatment I was pain free, not experiencing cramping for a few weeks but it has started up again just as severely but not as often. I still go to acupuncture because it felt like a miracle to me to not experience this unholy pain.

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Comment from: 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 17

I was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis about two years ago. Mine was due to a fracture to a part of my L5. I did physical therapy, which helped somewhat. I decided to retrain my spine. While sleeping, I got in a fetal position. This kept the spine curved, helping my condition. Apparently, if you arch your back it aggravates the condition. I have been almost pain-free for over a year. Oh yeah – I also slept on my back with a pillow under my calves. This position also puts the spine in the correct position. I have been stretching, and stretching my abdominals aggravated my condition, so I don't do that anymore. I am also interested in working out with weights, but am fearful I will do something to make my condition worse.

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Comment from: G-MA, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 18

I was diagnosed in 2010 with spondylolisthesis after consulting a chiropractor with severe back pain and shocking sensations down my leg. I had been suffering for a few years not realizing what was going on. I just thought it was back spasms from two previous wrecks. This started out as a slow progressing event. Now I am unable, like most, to function and live a normal life. Walking more than a few minutes at a time is unbearable. Back spasms are horrible and the problems with my legs make it difficult to do just about anything. Leaning forward offers some relief as does sitting down. Only problem with that is now the relief is short lived. Lying down is ok for a bit--I am now in the situation where my recliner is the only place I find any long term relief. I am going back to my chiropractor beginning in March. I truly hope that this will help.

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Comment from: AR, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 05

My mother who is 60 years old has been diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis. She is an acute rheumatoid arthritis patient, hence surgery has been ruled out by doctors. She has been on various chronic pain management programs to get rid of the severe pain she has on her lower back and radiating down her thighs and legs. Recently she was given Bupivacaine injection on her spine for pain relief but it is to no avail. I'm not sure what kind of treatment she requires which would relieve her from pain. She is having a lot of side effects due to various pain killers.

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Comment from: Lucylocket, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

It is very interesting to read these experiences of spondylolisthesis patients. Mine is grade 3 and has fused itself. There is no disc at all. It's just gone away. I used to be a very keen and able runner, and worked with horses for many years. Although I've had many episodes of back pain over the years, I've led a normal active life. Only now at 58 years old am I getting sciatica type pain, worsened by sitting. I also experience weakness in my legs on longer walks. Sometimes I wonder how I'm going to get home, but I do. My back does not extend (lean back) at all. I don't know if I'll get worse as I age but most people have health related problems and this is mine. I'll just have to wait and see.

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Comment from: Shelly, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I was diagnosed in 2000 with spondylolisthesis, you name it I've done it in regards of treating the pain including surgery and absolutely nothing helped for a substantial length of time. I looked for a site like this years ago. It can be quite depressing when you think about all of the activities you once did and can no longer do anymore. It's the year 2012 and nothing has changed. The one thing that I am grateful for and I'm sure the most of you can agree is that I'm still glad I can walk even with the pain! With that said, it's true it still could have been worse. Hang in there guys, we must continue on!

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