Training with spondylolisthesis

I’ve been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis, anyone else out there with this injury?

Doctors advice is to stop all exercises extending my spine backwards (no planks, bridges and most of yoga) and to focus on exercises with forward flexion of the spine. Luckily this means I have doctors orders for more cycling :slight_smile:

Currently supporting the cycling with lots of core work. What works for you in terms of general strengthening?

I’ve been living and training with a spondy for a couple of decades now…you don’t say where your spondy is - and I’m no medical professional…so just my 0.02.

My spondy is a level 2, l4-l5 vertebrae. Made its presence felt with an acute episode that lasted … months. Since then, steadily found what works for me. As far as treatment when it’s bad - which is these days, mercifully rare - maybe every 18 months - I stick to osteopathy. I would run a mile rather than let a chiropodist near me ever again.

I surf as well as bike, which obviously involves prolonged periods hyperextended while I’m paddling. As you said, lots of core work…but also lots of yoga…I don’t shy away from any particular type of exercises…lots of work on psoas (lunges, tiger pose, foam and ball rolling, etc,)- these tightening up can trigger a spasm, so a particular area of focus. I’m confused about the statement regarding planks, as as far as I’m concerned this is particularly posture / spine neutral…but…

Also - not to go against what your doc says, but…one of the biggest improvements I’ve seen in my resilience has come about through dedicating time and energy to strengthening my glutes. Bridges…yep. Kettelbell swings - took time to build to the point I was confident doing that. Also, natural / primal movement great for building usable, funtional strength and mobility. Youtube channel movement parallels life has some good intro workouts…

Also…over 20 years of seeing a bunch of different practitioners…you likely won’t get exactly the same advice from any two. It’s definitely a journey, finding what works for you. I wouldn’t necessarily take a negative from one practitioner as gospel…finding people who are into working with you to get you to what you want to do…they are definitely out there and worth finding.

Good luck…it’s not all crap. I’ve learned so much about my body as a result of living with it not performing perfectly that I doubt I’d be half as together as I am now if a life of gentle idleness had been a pain-free option!

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tell them to look at the current evidence, then find a sports physio or training therapist who know what they’re doing and start training. rest only makes things worse

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On Point!

Thanks for the response, the doctors advice seem contrary to my experience that exercising is more important than rest alone. As you say the key is to find ways which work for an imperfect body.

Again thanks for the tips and I’l continue the search for finding the right people.

Hey Martin,

On the bike I recommend having your setup checked to make sure you are not causing additional strain on your back.

In regards to strength, doing some sessions with a physio will definitely be beneficial as you will work through what is causing the stresses and then exercises to strengthen the appropriate muscle groups depending on where in your back you are feeling the pains.

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