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What is Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis, Cervical Spondylosis is a condition in which one of the bones of the spine (vertebrae) slips out of place onto the vertebra below it. If it slips too much, the bone might press on a nerve, causing pain. Usually, the bones of the lower back are affected.

The word spondylolisthesis comes from the Greek words spondylos, which means “spine” or “vertebra,” and listhesis, which means “to slip or slide.”


There are two main types of Spondylolisthesis.

Degenerative Spondylolisthesis – Occurs when the joints weaken, allowing a vertebra to slip forward. Nerve roots may become pinched causing pain to radiate to the legs and the feet.

Isthmic Spondylolisthesis – Occurs when vertebral bone fractures, allowing a vertebra to slip forward. This can also pinch nerve roots causing pain to radiate to the legs and the feet.


  • What are the symptoms of Spondylolisthesis?

    Many people with spondylolisthesis have no symptoms and don’t even know they have the condition. When symptoms do occur, low back pain is the most common. The pain usually spreads across the lower back, and might feel like a muscle strain.

  • Spondylolisthesis can also cause muscle spasms in the hamstring muscles in the back of the thighs.

    Tight hamstrings can cause the person to walk with short strides and with the knees slightly bent. If the slipped vertebra is pressing on a nerve, pain might spread down the leg to the foot. The foot might also tingle and/or feel numb.

    • Low back pain and tenderness
    • Buttock pain
    • Thigh and leg pain and/or weakness (one or both)
    • Difficulty controlling bowel and bladder functions
    • Tight hamstring muscles
    • Walking resembles waddling movements
    • Swayback
    • Protruding abdomen
  • What treatments are available for Spondylolisthesis?

    At Alleviate Spondylolisthesis treatment includes personalized treatment plans designed by our expert staff. Early detection of Spondylolisthesis is important to help monitor the condition. Some of the treatment options available at Alleviate include Physical Therapy programs which can be very effective, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) to stimulate the muscles, and Medical Massage.

  • What do I do next?

    The first step in treating Spondylolisthesis is to make an appointment to see a Spine Specialist or a Pain Specialist for a diagnosis and to learn your treatment options.

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