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Column How to live your everyday life for people with lumbar spondylolisthesis and things to note to prevent it from becoming worse


Lumbar spondylolisthesis is a condition in which the vertebrae in the lower back move out of their normal position.

Spondylolisthesis causes symptoms such as lower back pain, pain and numbness in the buttocks and lower legs.

When spondylolisthesis worsens

Mild lumbar spondylolisthesis often has no symptoms. In many cases, when symptoms such as pain appear and tests are taken, it is discovered that lumbar spondylolisthesis has progressed.

As spondylolisthesis progresses, the nerves become compressed, resulting in intermittent claudication (a condition in which the patient experiences pain and numbness in the lower limbs and is unable to walk, but is able to walk again after a short rest).

If it progresses further, the symptoms will not go away even when you don’t move. In the worst case scenario, you may become unable to move or feel anything.

What you can do to prevent it from getting worse

Some people are worried about what to do after being diagnosed with spondylolisthesis, but here we will explain what you can do to prevent it from getting worse.

Perform daily activities with correct posture

How to sit

If you have spondylolisthesis, it is better to change your life to a chair. When sitting on a chair, sit with your pelvis deeply propped up. Make sure to use the backrest to prevent your neck from protruding forward. However, the important thing is not to sit for long periods of time. If your posture deteriorates, the pain will increase, so it’s a good idea to stand up and walk or move once every 30 minutes.

Please be careful when sitting with your lower back rounded, arching your lower back, or with your tailbone touching the floor directly, as this is a no-no in the case of spondylolisthesis.

How to sleep

When sleeping, sleeping on your side rather than on your back can help alleviate symptoms, and placing a cushion or pillow under your knees can help alleviate symptoms.

How to walk

The important thing when walking is to use the force from your feet hitting the ground. Ths force is called the ground reaction and it’s the force that comes back from the ground when your foot lands on the it, and if you make good use of it, you can walk with good posture.

The important point is to make sure that when you take a step, your leg opposite to the one you took is extended, and when you land, make sure your ankle is arched firmly and your toes are pointing upwards.

Maintain a Suitable Weight

As you gain weight, you are more likely to develop spondylolisthesis. In addition, weight loss due to unreasonable dietary restrictions can cause bones to become deformed and slippery. It is important to eat a well-balanced diet to prevent spondylolisthesis from developing or worsening.

Develop a stretching habit

Stretching reduces the strain on your lower back and relieves the pain of spondylolisthesis.

The important thing is to stretch correctly. If you stretch incorrectly, you may put more strain on your lower back and make it worse.

Treatment at our clinic – The cellgel method

The cause of spondylolisthesis is believed to be intervertebral disc degeneration. *1

Therefore, we believe that fundamental treatment cannot be achieved unless the degenerated intervertebral disc is repaired.

*1 Reference source: I. Akkawi, H. Zmerly.  Degenerative spondylolisthesis: A Narrative Review . Acta Biomedica, vol. 92, No.6, 2021.

At our clinic, we perform the Cellgel method for spinal canal stenosis and spondylolisthesis, which are caused by intervertebral disc degeneration.

With our clinic’s Cellgel method, we inject a medicine that fills the cracked part of the intervertebral disc, and it turns into a gel to repair the crack, making it possible to perform fundamental treatment. The disc volume does not decrease, and the drug remains in the disc as a gellike implant after treatment, so the disc is preserved.

Unlike traditional surgery, the Cellgel method does not involve any incisions, so there are fewer postoperative risks.

The hospital stay is only half a day, and you can walk home on the day of treatment.

If you are suffering from lower back pain, or if you have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis or spondylolisthesis, please consider visiting our clinic.

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