What is it?

Spondylolisthesis refers to the displacement of one vertebra relative to the vertebrae next to it and is unique to bipedal human beings! It affects a very small percentage of the population: between 2% and 6% and has very little correlation with the presence of low back pain. That is – spondylolisthesis is commonly a benign condition.

Most people who develop a spondylolisthesis do so in adolescence prior to and during their adolescent growth spurt. There is usually very little progression of the spondylolisthesis after this point in time.

What should I do if I know I have Spondylolisthesis?

Most people won’t even be aware that they have a low grade spondylolisthesis, but if you do have one, the best thing to do is to get advice from your general practitioner or a physiotherapist. Most people with spondylolisthesis can exercise as they like and be involved in any type of physical activity they are interested in without problem. However, there is limited (and not very well designed) evidence that suggests that activities involving a lot of repetitive extension and rotation may increase your risk of developing low back pain.  These types of activities include gymnastics, dance, cricket fast bowling, tennis serving and some power lifting/weight lifting manoeuvres.

Come back next week for our second post: I have back pain AND Spondylolisthesis…