Patient Comments: Spondylolisthesis - Effective Treatments

What was the treatment for your spondylolisthesis?

Comment from: wantstorun, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I learned when I was 18 I had spondylolisthesis, grade I. It didn't start impacting my life until my early 30s, when I woke up in extreme and pain and thought I had a kidney stone. Much to my surprise my back had worsened, now a grade II. It is L5-S1. I am an active person, love cycling, running, dancing, martial arts and kickboxing. Much to my surprise, I should not have pursued marital arts as I think that contributed to the continued slippage. I had stopped martial arts, but was grade III, 19mm slippage. I began limiting my activity, but did not realize how unstable my back was, now a grade IV. I am scared as I think the issue is not if, but when, will I need surgery. My pain is not stopping me from doing activities; I just need to modify things a bit. Scared and nervous, it seems grade IV is very rare. I have read mixed results with the surgery. Having an autoimmune disease I fear my body will reject anything foreign in my body. Many years ago I had crushed my hand, they had to remove the plates as my body rejected them. I am scared and confused. I read the pain so many people are in, I am not. Mornings are the toughest and most painful part of my day.

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Comment from: Nice, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 01

It was during my pregnancy in 1990, w/ my one and only daughter that I experienced severe "electrocuted" feeling on my spine. After giving birth, the Doctor diagnosed I have spondylolishtesis. I wore braces on my hip but quit wearing because of allergy and something, still is painful on my higher spine. I've seen another Doctor. He told me I have Scoliosis and Spondylolisthesis at the same time. It is painful. This is the reason why I have one pregnancy only. To date,2013, I don't wear braces for 19yrs now, just keeping my ideal weight, carry light only,sits w/ back flat on a chair or uses hands/feet to "assist" my weight whenever needed..(esp when I have to sit on a backless chair.) I also believe Transfer Factor helped me to stay pain-free. Thanks.

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Comment from: Margo, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 06

In my first year of college in 1972 I started having bad back pain, which radiated down the back of my legs. I finally had an X-ray and it was determined I had spondylolisthesis of L5. This is many years ago and the treatment was to wear a corset with metal stays for three months. The stays were bent for my specific condition. I had to put it on before I even got up in the morning in my dorm room and wear it all day. After three months, it was less painful and I only wore it intermittently. For the next 10 years, I kept it and wore it sometimes, but it became less and less. I often asked my husband to push down hard with his thumb on the affected area. I don't know why, but it helped. I haven't had any symptoms for many years, but am curious about what another patient wrote. She said when thin, it was worse. I was very thin in college and that is when it was bad. I have gained some pounds over the years and now there is no pain. Curious.

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Comment from: concernedpatient, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 19

I am 28 years old and was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis at age 12. I have lived with intermittent pain most of my life. Immediately upon diagnosis, I started various treatments: medication, rest, physical therapy, and spent nearly two years in a back brace. As an adult, I have occasional flare-ups, which I treat with rest and heat. Just last week I had a major setback after spending three days babysitting my niece and nephew. It seems the constant stress was more than my back could take, and I spent the next 2 days unable to get even sit up in bed. I am deeply worried now because my husband and I plan to start our own family soon, and I am unsure of the pain and complications that may result from this condition as it relates to a pregnancy - and obviously the stress that constantly lifting and chasing babies around the house will cause. I'm wondering if surgery now (before having children) makes sense, or if this will bear its own set of risks when it comes to pregnancy and child rearing.

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Comment from: Live to garden, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

I was diagnosed 20 yrs ago after many years of back pain. Mine is the congenital variety. Everyone seemed quite casual at that time. When the pain started going down my leg 8 yrs ago, medical people were more informative. To ease pain I lay flat on my back with knees bent and legs on a chair for 20 minutes as many times as needed during the day. Alternating ice and heat helps. I found a good physiotherapist to coach me in strengthening the core muscles without making matters worse. (I'm now at a grade 2 displacement). With her instruction I started lifting weights to build up my muscles so that I could do everyday activities without injuring myself. For some exercises I had to start with just the weight of my own body part. Careful stretching is also very important for staying limber and reducing pain. Having someone to take care of the heavy gardening and house cleaning helped avoid recurrences. Most mornings I still wake up with some pain but I've never let it stop me from doing what I want. I don't mind walking instead of running and if something hurts too much, I go easier or stop and look for another way. I wish that someone had looked at my swayback 50 years ago and insisted on my strengthening my abdominal muscles. I may have been able to prevent this. As it is, I just have to keep on working those abs, stretching, straightening and strengthening that back. Strength training won't cure the problem but it sure has eased the severity and frequency of my pain and leg problems.

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Spondylolisthesis - Causes Question: What was the cause of your spondylolisthesis?
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