Valued Contributor
Posts: 876
Registered: ‎04-05-2018

I am suffering with Spondylolisthesis  in the L4 and L5 vertebrae, how do you deal with this and what do you do for the pain. I do not want to have surgery. But I might end up having to have it. Thank you.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,113
Registered: ‎04-16-2011

I hope that you find some relief. I stretch, do exercises that focus on strenthening my core, use the Cubi, and Tai Chi.  The Tai Chi is great for gentle movements and a meditative state of mind because of the focusing required.  I have reactions to pain medications such as Gabapentine and others in the category andI can't take them.  My pain reliever is Tylenol.  Alternating with hot ad cold pads and massage can help.  I prefer hot bamboo massages.  

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,782
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Spondylolisthesis

[ Edited ]

Well, I'm 73 and have been dealing with spondylolisthesis for as long as I can remember.  A TENS unit has helped tremendously.  I wear one 24/7 and wouldn't want to live without it.  Also, I went to a good chiropractor twice a week for years and that helped.  And I did exercises recommended by my chiropractor home every single day for about 10 years.


But about 15 years ago I had a job where I had to sit constantly for 8 hours a day.  It was then that I decided I needed to find effective pain management.  I have been on Norco (hydrocodone/Tylenol) for that long.  It helps a great deal!





ETERNITY: your choice... smoking or non smoking!
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,708
Registered: ‎10-22-2018

This will be hard to believe. Seven years ago I suddenly started having trouble walking. Out of nowhere. I would feel a snap in my lower back and then the pain was so bad I couldn't move. Somehow I figured out I could snap my lower spine area back into place by TWERKING for about two minutes, and then I could walk normally until the snap happened again. I had to twerk in public, but it was better than calling an ambulance.


Xrays and MRIs and a diagnosis of spondylolisthesis in the L4 and L5. Sent to a physical therapist who told me my insurance wouldn't cover therapy because I was in too good shape. The problem started happening more frequently.


Took a cruise vacation and when I got back the problem wasn't as bad. But it quickly got worse again.


Long story short, it was my brand new car, a Ford Fiesta with manual transmission. The driving position in that specific car put pressure on my lower spine and aggravated the spondylo I didn't know I had. Sold the car, got an SUV with an upright driving position, and the problem resolved and has never returned.


Moral of the story: listen to your body, analyze your life. Try a bunch of different things. Doctors don't always have the answer. 


Good luck! 



Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,400
Registered: ‎05-23-2010

Re: Spondylolisthesis

[ Edited ]

@KACEE1115 @Your treatment should account for the degree of spondolithesie you  have., There are excellent physical therapy exercises available for this on YouTube. Ask your doctor befor attempting any treatment routine. 269FA7FC-2348-4DC0-8867-626640D5F620.jpeg

Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,661
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Re: Spondylolisthesis

[ Edited ]

IBprofen, up to 800 mg at a time of pain.  Chiropractor evey 6 wks. approx.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,085
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

I have the same problem.  I don't do anything.  What type of surgery would you have?  And, what will it do?

Valued Contributor
Posts: 876
Registered: ‎04-05-2018

@Winkk spinal fusion

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,809
Registered: ‎03-09-2010



I've had this for 9 years and it has slowly progressed from grade 1 to grade 2. What grade are you?


All of these things help: Physical therapy exercises daily, Salonpas patches (lidocaine version), cortisone injections in spine and trigger point injections in back muscle, no anti-inflammatories (these help, but I can't take them anymore), keeping belly weight down, etc.


My surgeon said that fusion at this point is not a good idea. Fusion affects everything above and below the surgical area, putting additional pressure on adjoining areas. In my case, I also have degenerative disc disease above and below the area.


Good can be managed.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,883
Registered: ‎06-15-2015



I have had 2 back surgeries, 1 to remove ruptured L-5/ S-1, and the other to remove a ruptured L-3 spinal disc. The last surgery was done by a good friend of mine that deals exclusively with conditions of the spine. He practices at our State Spine Center.


Have had many, many conversations with him about back issues, in general. He's told me that regardless of individuals being diagnosed with the same cause, each patient he deals with, are not the even close to the same.


Much depends on the overall condition of a patients total body, along with the specific levels and locations on the spine. 1 thing he has told me several times is how much strain being a lot overweight puts on one's spine.


He is an athlete and played in my Adult Hockey League for many years. For low degrees of Spondylolisthesis he recommends Physical Therapy, along for some Chiropractic Adjustments. And for those that have no underlying problems, OTC meds like Advil or Aleve.


He emphasises that the structure of the spinal column is dependent on Strong Core Muscles for supporting it, and good Flexibility of all muscles on the rear side of the body. Starting from the Achilles Tendon above the foot, up to and including the neck muscles. If it flexes, it needs to be stretched regularly and continually, including after pain subsides.


Core muscle exercises at no time bothered or caused more pain for me Pre-surgery. Even if done sitting or just lying in your bed. Abdominal muscles are easy to contract and release with zero or very little pain.


For me personally, I wanted to eliminate my sources of pain. I did not want stop/gap temporary relief as it did not allow me to live my type of life, including my job at the plant. I opted for surgery, 1 as far back as 1974 when there was no MRI/Scope or Micro Surgeries. 


Since you must have had an MRI to get this diagnosis, I would suggest you get your information from your doctor that ordered and read your MRI.


I know from being there that any major type of spinal issue can severely limit one's ability to do even simple every day things. Hopefully your doctor can find and recommend the best solution for you. If it ends up being surgery? I have had 2 with 3 Lumbar Discs removed, and I still function quite well at 82.


Best to you,