Patient Comments: Spondylolisthesis - Effective Treatments


What was the treatment for your spondylolisthesis? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Liz, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

Orthopedic and neurosurgeon visits, x-rays, MRIs, CAT scan, 2 sets physical therapy, 2 sets of cortisone shots, a massage series, lost 20 lb.; no help for spondylolisthesis grade 3, except gabapentin allows me to sleep.

Comment from: agnesyates, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 19

I have been suffering with spondylolisthesis for years, and finally it is getting the best of me. So depressing! I just keep thinking it could be worse if I get surgery with fusion; was told it will just put stress on the next vertebra and I will have to have another one. Wonder if anyone has had minimally invasive surgery with or without fusion.

Comment from: K, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 24

I am a 46 year old female mother of two. I have had lower back pain for years. Finally I had an MRI to determine I had grade 1 spondylolisthesis. I decided to have surgery, had a TLIF (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion) done 4 months ago and I haven’t looked back. It was the scariest but the most rewarding thing I have done. I have absolutely no pain and feel amazing. I was walking the next day after surgery. I just had my 2nd post-operative appointment and been given the all clear. I’m pain free.

Comment from: lumpy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 21

I have had spondylolisthesis for years, progressively worsening. Physical therapy only causes pain. I had facet cauterization twice. The 1st was wonderful (I thought), but lasted only 4 months, and when pain returned it was worse. I suspect I was doing things I shouldn't or in ways I shouldn't because my brain wasn't registering pain. It took 8 chiropractic and 8 massage visits to get back to baseline. The 2nd one only lasted 2 weeks. I now get massage/chiropractic treatment 2 times a month, use CBD topical and oral, the best solution I have found. Surgery doesn't sound like good idea. Luck!

Comment from: Carol, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 27

I was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis last year at the age of 79. The x-ray showed a vertebra (L4) was hanging down out of place. I could not bend over halfway and my sciatic nerve affected back of both legs from bottom down the legs. I could not sit down and did all exercising standing up because it hurt too much to sit down. I had always been very flexible putting hands flat on floor, etc. I went to therapy and found that they helped very much. I never gave up exercising or line dancing and am able to do everything I used to do even putting hands flat on floor. And I can sit down and don't have to stand up when riding bus on trips, etc. I do worry about where it will affect me next. I am thinking the neck area. Until then I plan on continuing all that I can. I was diagnosed with the spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis.

Comment from: Michael, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 03

I am resisting surgery for my spondylolisthesis and so far I have been able to manage life but not without major life changes of stuff I cannot do. I have found great help from many resources on the internet but the best so far are two physical therapists.

Comment from: LILgrad1819, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 27

I am a 31 year old who has been dealing with back pain since October after having ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) knee surgery. My L5 and S1 are out of place. I have the injections and they are starting to not work for my spondylolisthesis. I feel uncomfortable with the pain. Doctors say that with grade 2 at 30 is a severe case.

Comment from: Punkin, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 26

I am to have surgery for spondylolisthesis in L4 L5, and a resulting scoliosis of a total of 5 vertebra involved. My doctor has chosen to do laminectomy on L4-L5. I am 74. He said this would relieve me from low back and sciatic pain. This will not straighten my back. However I have not seen good results in many friends with rods and screws and one cannot walk at all now. I am concerned about this laminectomy further weakening my spinal column. Of course I desire the absence or lessening of pain as I cannot walk far nor stand for long without great pain. I must say I have a great doctor. Best in the city.

Comment from: Dave Boston, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: February 26

I am 42 years old and had an L5-S1 fusion after noninvasive interventions failed to relieve my symptoms. I had a grade 1 spondylolisthesis resulting from a bilateral pars fracture suffered in high school that had become symptomatic after 20 years. After consulting with several leading neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons who all concurred that I was a textbook case for intervention, and contended that I would be able to resume athletic activities free of pain, I chose to pursue the surgery. I may make a worse decision in my life, but I doubt it. My situation post-surgery is a nightmare. I am in constant pain and discomfort with burning in my lower back, pins and needles in my legs and involuntary twitching in my legs. I have no means of finding effective relief as additional surgery is recommended by some and advised against by others. Epidural shots have failed me and I will not consider a spinal cord stimulator. If I had to do it over again I would accept physical limitations of my situation and adjust my life to the new reality, give my body time to rest, the physiotherapy generally exacerbated my condition; and avoid surgery until I was bedridden. Lastly, beware of epidurals. My condition has worsened after my most recent battery of epidurals. They have resulted in an inflammatory response that I fear has added to my nerve scarring. Lots of people are getting arachnoiditis (look it up if you want to terrify yourself).


Lower Back Pain: Symptoms, Stretches, Exercise for Pain Relief See Slideshow
Comment from: BD, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

I am 35 years old. I was feeling the pain since last 1 and 1/2 years. I have been diagnosed with grade I spondylolisthesis (L5 S1) 6 months ago. Now as per doctor’s suggestion I am doing some physical therapy. I have also an Ayurvedic treatment, but it has not helped much. Pain is not there all the time, but some times when I am exhausted I am getting horrible pain. I am not sure what should I do. I want some suggestions.

Comment from: Slw11, Female (Patient) Published: February 15

I can so relate to everyone. I was diagnosed about 18 years ago with spondylolisthesis level one and now it a level 2 with degenerative disks and sciatica nerve pain. The depression is the worst! I hate all the medicines because they cause upset stomach, constipation and depression. I'm going to have the selective nerve block and I'm hoping that it works. Like a lot of you, I loved to run, bike, exercise and play with my grandchildren. A lot of that has stopped because every time I feel better, I want to do everything I did before and I end up hurt again. I also broke my neck at 16 but the doctors couldn't see it so I was misdiagnosed with muscular dystrophy due to the atrophy in my muscles for 18 years. If I don't keep pushing myself, I'm afraid I will just shut down. My mind wants to go but my body doesn't. I'm only 49 years old and feel like this is so ridiculous and that I'm too young for all this stuff. People really don't understand until they go through it. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

Comment from: achin back., 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 11

Taking medicine alone is not a cure for spondylolisthesis. They can be good but you also need to maintain your spine stability with pelvic tilt exercises and hamstring stretching. I lie on the floor with my legs up on the chair or couch several times a day to try to make my L5 return to a more normal position. I also sleep on my back with a pillow under my knees. If you don't do the right exercise and stretches your condition will get worse.

Comment from: AccidentProne, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: May 11

When I was 21 I was in a motorcycle accident, most everything was apparently ok. Five years after my accident my back started hurting terribly. I called out sick for a day at work, but pain was manageable so I stayed home. Next day pain was still present but I decided to go to work anyway, and had a huge safety violation because I was distracted by pain. I called out sick again the next day and went to the hospital. I had to beg for an MRI, waited 6 hours to get it. I was misdiagnosed with a herniated disc from the emergency room. When I followed up with a specialist who confirmed it was spondylolisthesis. Drugs made it bearable but still painful. I ran out of drugs and could not get a physician to refill me a prescription. Finally I followed up with a neurologist as well for a second opinion. My neurologist prescribed me gabapentin 300 mg three times a day. After 1 month the drug really took effect and I barely felt any pain. Just a thought for you guys for pain management. Gabapentin has some side effects that rarely happen. I've lost motor functions or coordination for small amounts of time so please be careful. Honestly though, between the side effects and the pain I choose the side effects.

Comment from: wdzkjr, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 26

I had surgery ALIF (anterior lumbar underbody fusion) at S1-L5 for spondylolisthesis and my surgeon went through the front side. I was 57 and had to do something as pain and numbness were a daily ordeal and the pain medicines were getting where they were not good. I had horrific pain down my legs with numbness. There was no longer a disc between L5 and S1. A few days in the hospital, about another week in bed and then 4 on a walker and I was up and going. I really did not need the walker but was more of a precautionary measure. One year later, I work out 3 times a week in the gym with the same weight as at 45 years old now. Getting off the pain medicines resulted in more improvement as anything else after the surgery. If you still have pain, get off the medicines for 3 months minimum before thinking you have not had significant improvements!

Comment from: Lucy, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 11

I have been diagnosed with grade 2 spondylolisthesis at the age of 20. At the moment I am struggling day to day with pain, and the balance of using narcotics and other medications to help, and using as little as possible. I am currently studying nursing, and have been told by my doctor to reconsider my career goals. Which absolutely sucks. I have been doing physical therapy and am about to have my second steroid injection, the first one didn't help! They are thinking of sending me for surgery.

Comment from: In pain in Texas, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

I originally had back surgery back in 2008. It did not go well, and I had the rod and screws put in and fusion done, but the doctor has since then lost his surgery privileges apparently. I am left with pain in my middle back as the disc just above the rod and the disc just below the rod are now degenerated. It is very depressing, plus about 3 years ago, I started having osteoarthritis in my hips as well. I am in pain a lot and often cannot get up unassisted from a chair. I am trying to lose weight, but it is very hard when you cannot move without some sort of pain in your back or hips. I understand how much each of you feels your pain; I go through the same thing, being depressed and trying to stay positive. I have degenerative disc disease and spondylolisthesis, but the last doctor said it wasn"t very bad. He obviously does not have pain every day like me and all the others. I am concerned that as I age, I will be unable to walk or stand because my back does not feel strong enough to hold me up sometimes. I have numbness and sciatica in my legs. I wanted to try the laser treatments, but apparently the surgical group does not take my insurance.


Nearly everyone has low back pain at some time during their life. See Answer
Comment from: cgholtz, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

I had surgery for my spondylolisthesis on March 24. Immediately I could walk normal again but I am still very stiff and in some pain. I am glad I got the surgery but I wonder how long these symptoms will last.

Comment from: mom of 2, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

I was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis at age 14 at L4 L5 grade III. I wore a brace, tried traction and had spinal fusion at age 15. I am now 45 and have daily pain, and have now been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease of L3. I have had one steroid injection and am slated to have 2 more in the next 6 weeks. I am glad I had the surgery, because it saved me from being paralyzed. I am hoping the injections will relieve the pain.

Comment from: success story, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

I was diagnosed in 1991 with Spondylolithesis at L5 S1. I was 16. At that time, I tried the medications, physical therapy and back brace. After 2 years of pain and trying to be a normal teenage girl I made the decision to have the spinal fusion surgery in May 1993. For me, it was one of the best decisions I ever could have made! I had the old style surgery with the battle scars to prove it. It was a week in the hospital, 12 weeks on bed rest, 18 months for the bone in my hip to grow back and to this day my hip tells me when it is going to rain, but I would not trade that! I have not had handicap parking since 1994. I do not take pain medication. I do have regular massages which is all I need to keep the remaining discomfort at bay. As my doctor put it, the surgery is not a cure but a treatment option. He is retired now or I would be recommending him to all of you. He gave me my life back. Don't give up until you find the right treatment option for you.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I was diagnosed at age 12 due to lower back pain. Mine is the congenital type. I finally knew it was time to do something at age 45 when I had horrific pain down my legs alternating with numbness. A simple x-ray revealed that I no longer had a disk between L5 and S1. After an anterior-posterior decompression and fusion, I live with chronic pain, but have a stable back. I am able to exercise regularly and move better than I have in years. Even though I take medication for pain everyday, I am very happy with my result.

Comment from: So, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

I just discovered an undiagnosed L4 dislocation. I went to several orthopedic doctors. I had MRI. It wasn’t until I went to this site that I realized what in truth is wrong. I suffered severe fall 5 and a half years ago. The hospital, after I arrived via ambulance, only concentrated on my upper body, multiple fractures, dislocated shoulder and head injury. Years later, back pain became disabling. I went back to trauma doctor. He x-rayed my lower back and there it was; spondylolisthesis. Now, after MRI, steroid injections - massive facet shots, and epidural shots I am in more pain than before. I was told I need severe open back surgery with caging and brace for a year. Looking for solutions. This site is great.

Comment from: Marleyparley, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 21

I began having pain 4 years ago mostly in upper left thigh and my lower back. I have seen every consultant known to man, some more than once or twice. I am on several opiate medications, muscle relaxants, tried numerous anti-depressants all of which don’t even take the edge of my pain. Just over a year ago I gave up my 2 walking sticks for a wheelchair as the pain from standing/ walking was just excruciating. I gave up my job 2 years ago as I was a liability, I can do very little for myself, I no longer drive, cook, socialize, etc., it’s just not worth the pain. It hurts just to be. About 2 weeks ago in desperation I went to a chiropractor who sent me for an x- ray who then informed me I had spondylolisthesis L4-5 Grade 2, I am so glad to finally have a reason for this nonstop crippling pain.

Comment from: ddriver1123, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I was just diagnosed with L5 grade 1 spondylolisthesis. Mine was the result of a fall at work. The pain is so bad some days and then other days I can"t tell I have a problem. I have to wear a back brace and try injections and go to a chiropractor. Hope this will this get better in time.

Comment from: Celticlove, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I am 49 ½ and was diagnosed with spondylolethisis, anterior grade 4, along with spinal stenosis, and bone spurs. I'm deteriorating; it has caused scoliosis and I have now been diagnosed with neuropathy in my left leg. I was hit by a car at age 4, which broke my pelvis in two places and my left femur. I was in traction, a body cast, and had to learn to walk all over again. My left leg is ¾ inches longer then my right. I was never to run again and walked with a limp, yet ended up being a very strong top athlete. I've had three kids, whom I played with and trained in sports. I just stopped playing softball five years ago. I also biked, hiked, adventured raced, and did so many outdoor things. But eight months ago, all this came to an abrupt end. I fell down some stairs, which really did some damage. When my X-rays were read, the doctors discovered my condition. September 13th, 2012, began a very fast deterioration. The hip cramps at night keep me from sleeping, the pain in my left hip travels around to my quad to my knee, down my shin, to the top of my foot, where it sometimes leaves me in tears. It's so unbearable. I can hardly walk anymore; I'm losing motor control. It's taking a toll on my speech, my focus, and my attitude. Stretching does not help, nor does icing or adjustments. Only a high dose of pain meds help, but they make me violently ill and depressed, and I sleep for two days sometimes. I'm told I will more than likely be paralyzed by 60, and I'm 49. My nerve damage is getting so severe that I may not make it another 4-5 years. I have three grandbabies, and I can't even hold them, let alone play with them. I've read about the surgeries and I am getting to the point of desiring it. At one time, I was against surgery and tried to keep people away from it with the very positive and effective body work I've done. I want my life back so bad and I'm feeling resentful and suffering major depression. I read someone else’s post about how other people in their life diminish the pain they suffer. Well, you are not the only one. It frustrates me that anyone can call what we suffer minimal, undermine us, or call us hypochondriacs. I'd love to see any one of them spend time in our bodies for just a day, or maybe from the time we have to get out of bed each day up to trying to get into the shower. And then they get upset with us for how cranky we are. I'm glad that I could vent how I'm feeling. Some days I cry out of frustration. From being an athlete to “nothing.” Losing 30 pounds, suffering atrophy, and muscle loss everywhere. I've lost my butt muscles and none of my clothes fit. I've even been accused of being on meth! I want my life back.

Comment from: colm, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 12

I am 47 and was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis and Spinal Stenosis 10 years ago. Although the doctors tell me that it is mild spondylolisthesis, only grade one, I am mostly in some sort of pain daily. My biggest problem is the dreaded Sciatica, I have to be so careful and avoid at all costs lifting, pulling or pushing anything around, I am a farmer so a lot of heavy work is involved daily, but I have someone to help out with the heavy work. When the doctor uses the word mild I feel like slapping him across the face and asking him how mild does that feel. Pain is pain and living with it daily can be depressing, but I refuse to let it control me, which it used to do. I do not take any medication such as anti inflammatory, this are pure poison to anyone’s stomach. I would rather suffer back pain than to partake in any type of anti inflammatory drug.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 05

I was 43 in Aug, '08 when I was diagnosed with L5/S1 spondylolisthesis. My L5 had slipped 8mm and was resting on my spinal cord. The pain had gotten so bad that I couldn't stand for more than 30 seconds without both of my legs going numb. After trying EVERYTHING else prior to the diagnosis and just trying to relieve the pain, I opted to have surgery. The damage was much more extensive than my surgeon thought and the recovery period was a lot longer and harder than I thought it would be. I had a laminectomy and a fusion, but the bone wouldn't fuse. I ended up taking a drug called Forteo to help this process and it worked. After 18 months of healing and recovery, I can honestly say I'd do it again. My Dr. gave me my life back! I'm now back to the gym, working, walking the dogs, etc. Back to a normal, pain-free life. It's a really tough road and believe me, I understand everyone's pain. I've been there and was fortunate to come out on the other side. Best of luck to everyone.

Comment from: Bruff, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 02

I am 38 years old and was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis about 3 years ago. It was one of the worst days of my life. Being told I could no longer do so many of the things I loved to do like running, biking, and lifting weights and that it would probably only get worse as the years passed. I went home and cried all day. Even though my pain is minimal compared to some of the comments I have read, it is a daily struggle. I am often depressed as I watch my family and friends still doing many of the activities we used to all do together and all I can do now is watch. My wife and I used to go running on Saturday mornings down by the river. I can't even play with my 3 boys the way I used to. So far I have only had physical therapy. My doctor says to hold off on the surgery as long as I can. I exercise daily in the weenie weight room and do elliptical machine or stationary bike or swim to keep in shape and relieve stress. I also stretch my back daily and that seems to help. The biggest thing for me is just to avoid any activity that seems to aggravate my condition like running or lifting heavy objects. I agree with one of the comments posted that the best thing is to just keep going, hard as it is. When you stop going is when you really feel defeated. Hang in there.

Comment from: Male Published: February 25

Hi, my name is Stephen, and I was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis eight years ago. I am now 38 years old. I had found out when I slipped off a ladder and tweaked my back. After X-rays revealed the damage, the doctors said I was born with it or it happened when I was young and the ladder incident only aggravated it. I was depressed for about five months and then I started a heavy research campaign. Doctors wanted to operate, chiropractors said they could help without operation, and I was confused on what to do! I have the sciatic pain down the right side of my buttock and down the back side of my leg. I ice daily and heat sometimes. I feel I cannot live with this pain forever. With my mom in the medical field, I was able to talk to a spine specialist, and he recommended to not get surgery unless I can’t stand the pain or the pain is so severe that I can’t move. For every 5 pounds I gain, I can feel it. If I keep my abdominal muscles strong, then the pain is tolerable. I do go to the chiropractor to adjust the spine, and it helps for a few days, so I go two to three times a week. If I sit or don’t move or exercise, the pain comes on stronger. I was recommended to never be inactive for long periods of time because it weakens the muscles. It was said most operations on this won’t fix the problems because the spine is one of the only parts in the body that won’t heal itself, even if you get an operation. Operation is only a bandage and only should be done on the spine for a last resort. I am so sorry for every one diagnosed with this, for you are not alone. Mine is in the L5 vertebrae, and after eight years, I can manage the pain with all I learned and I trust what my unbiased doctor (my mom works for and isn’t getting a dime from me) and chiropractor on this. So, resting and not being active only hurts the situation! Hang in there, and God bless!

Comment from: TH, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 16

I had spondylolisthesis S1 - L5. I am 39 now and the pain started in my left hip and leg 18 months ago. The pain grew worse over a very short time. Then in April 2009, I was told to have surgery or be in a wheel chair within five years tops. I agreed to surgery, and seven weeks later when my surgery date came, I was in pain 24/7, and unable to sleep. The operation was very painful. Eight months on, my back pain is nearly all gone, but I still have to be careful. My doctor says it can take up to 18 months. I am still having pain in my left hip and leg. I am about to go for another MRI scan next month. This time they think it’s my pelvis. I am glad I had the surgery; it wasn't going to make it any worse than it already was. Good luck everyone.

Comment from: Hilary, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

I have spondylolisthesis L5-S1 and degenerative disk disease L4-L5. I am 30 years old and have had severe to intermittent pain since I was 16 years old. I have found that my pain is worse and more frequent the thinner I am. It seems the extra weight keeps me held together. When I have "flare-ups" I have the sensation of my upper body not being attached to my lower body, and my torso will sit more to one side. Since being diagnosed in 2006 my quality of life has suffered. I was advised by my neurologist to avoid certain activities for risk of paralysis. So now I no longer am able to go skiing, sledding, horseback riding, golfing or a lot of other things I used to do. I am married and have a 5 year old son, and I feel like I am losing out on life, I am not able to do the things with him that I loved to do as a child. I am at a point where I am sick of the "band-aid" solutions the doctors keep giving me. I am tired of being afraid to do things because of what the doctors have said, or because of how I am going to feel when I attempt to get out of bed in the morning and I can't move my head down enough to look at the ground when I walk from the stiffness in my body. I really hope I can do something to improve how I feel. I am very happy to have found this site and see that there are others out there with the same experiences. Good Luck to you all.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 25

I've read some of the posting’s here and it’s like you are in my mind. I feel and think some of the same things. I've been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis in November 2009. I've had back pain forever it seems but it was always just when I sat to long and went to get up it would hurt. Then one day the pain didn't go away and I went to the doctor and that's when they diagnosed me. I've never had an MRI although people tell me I should get one . They did x rays though. I feel alone a lot and would LOVE a support group for this. It seems no one understands the pain and how depressing it is. I feel useless and old. I want so badly to be where I once was. I can't play with my kids like I use to. Some days are better than others but I'm never totally pain free. Currently I am doing PT and I take OTC medications. I think I need something more though and am returning to the doctor to see what more can be done.

Comment from: 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 09

My spondylolisthesis involved L4 to S1. I have other health problems, and I am 81 years old. Injections did not help, in fact seemed to make the problem worse. I had the surgery almost 6 months ago, and was almost immediately pain free. I no longer need pain pills. I highly recommend the surgery, but only if you can find a neurosurgeon with a proven track record in this condition. Mine has a 95% success rate in this particular surgery. I know other people who used other doctors and are still in pain, so be selective.

Comment from: TopD09, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 19

I'm a white male 49yrs old and have had chronic lower back pain for 20 plus yrs now. Like many people have tried everything under the sun to help relieve the pain and nothing is working. I have done my research and to find out more on this and just want to live life as pain free as possible. Some days are ok and other days are rough just waking up and getting out of bed. I just want to be free from the pain and be able to do things that I could do 10 yrs ago.

Comment from: Shelly, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 03

I've been living with Spondylolisthesis stenosis L1-L5 since the year 2000. I had the fusion surgery back in 2004. Unfortunately, my condition did not improve. Consequently, I live with chronic back pain. All the conservative treatments did not work for me. Now I regret having the surgery because it did not work. I had no choice but to have the surgery because my quality of life was near zero. I take pain medications around the clock, and they don’t help often. I pray a lot. It's a very difficult condition to live with. I'm looking for a support group to perhaps share my concern\story with just for the support. No one seems to understand the pain that a person goes through with my condition.

Comment from: Meggi56, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

I am at the end of my rope with pain of spondylolisthesis! I declined fusion surgery eight years ago, because of risks. I am dependent on drugs. I have little life. Pain is all.

Comment from: nurse50, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 01

I have increased sciatica with driving. Spondylolisthesis lights my leg and buttock on fire to have to depress the gas pedal and brake. It's the absolute worst. I am going in for spinal fusion soon as the sciatica has gotten so debilitating, and decreased quality to life not to mention the depression of being in daily continuous pain.

Comment from: Gabbie1962, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

I was wondering if there is any self-help I can do for congenital spondylolisthesis. I am going to be 54 this year. I have had discs degenerating since my 20s. I can stand for 30 minutes then I am screaming in agony if I don't sit down. The pain medicines help with my rheumatoid arthritis, but they don't even touch this back. Thank you.

Comment from: LarkBea, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 13

I was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis in my mid-40s (I am 62 now). I was driven to the doctor by the inability to walk up stairs without excruciating pain. After x-rays and an MRI, he expressed surprise that I hadn't been symptomatic before. I had symptoms of lower back pain but mostly ignored them and self-treated with ibuprofen. Within the past couple of years, the pain has increased as to be unbearable. Injections work, but only temporarily and the last one I got didn't work at all. I am not a good candidate for surgery according to the orthopedic surgeon I saw. So now, I am stuck with pain management to maintain any quality of life, something I do not wish to do after reading about issues other patients have encountered with unsympathetic physicians and pharmacists. So I wait, hoping for some new procedure or new non-narcotic pain medication that is actually effective. I also have to use a walker to get around and climbing steps is out of the question.

Comment from: Ron, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 30

I have been told I have spondylolisthesis of L5 and S1 at the age of 50. My doctor has given me about 4 different kind of medicines to take and so far nothing has worked. Like other people I have read about I also can't sleep at night, I toss and turn and at least once I’m up out of bed.

Comment from: emmabby666, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

About 2 or 3 years ago I was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis. I was 17 when I was diagnosed and I am now 19 going on 20. A couple days before I went to the doctor I had severe back pain to the point I couldn't move without crying. It had gotten so bad that it is now pinching the nerve to my left leg so I have pain down that leg. I tried going to a chiropractor it helped for a little while but it would always go back to the way it was. It would actually get worse when it would go back so I quit going.

Comment from: wantstorun, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I learned when I was 18 I had spondylolisthesis, grade I. It didn't start impacting my life until my early 30s, when I woke up in extreme and pain and thought I had a kidney stone. Much to my surprise my back had worsened, now a grade II. It is L5-S1. I am an active person, love cycling, running, dancing, martial arts and kickboxing. Much to my surprise, I should not have pursued marital arts as I think that contributed to the continued slippage. I had stopped martial arts, but was grade III, 19mm slippage. I began limiting my activity, but did not realize how unstable my back was, now a grade IV. I am scared as I think the issue is not if, but when, will I need surgery. My pain is not stopping me from doing activities; I just need to modify things a bit. Scared and nervous, it seems grade IV is very rare. I have read mixed results with the surgery. Having an autoimmune disease I fear my body will reject anything foreign in my body. Many years ago I had crushed my hand, they had to remove the plates as my body rejected them. I am scared and confused. I read the pain so many people are in, I am not. Mornings are the toughest and most painful part of my day.

Comment from: Nice, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 01

It was during my pregnancy in 1990, w/ my one and only daughter that I experienced severe "electrocuted" feeling on my spine. After giving birth, the Doctor diagnosed I have spondylolishtesis. I wore braces on my hip but quit wearing because of allergy and something, still is painful on my higher spine. I've seen another Doctor. He told me I have Scoliosis and Spondylolisthesis at the same time. It is painful. This is the reason why I have one pregnancy only. To date,2013, I don't wear braces for 19yrs now, just keeping my ideal weight, carry light only,sits w/ back flat on a chair or uses hands/feet to "assist" my weight whenever needed..(esp when I have to sit on a backless chair.) I also believe Transfer Factor helped me to stay pain-free. Thanks.

Comment from: Margo, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 06

In my first year of college in 1972 I started having bad back pain, which radiated down the back of my legs. I finally had an X-ray and it was determined I had spondylolisthesis of L5. This is many years ago and the treatment was to wear a corset with metal stays for three months. The stays were bent for my specific condition. I had to put it on before I even got up in the morning in my dorm room and wear it all day. After three months, it was less painful and I only wore it intermittently. For the next 10 years, I kept it and wore it sometimes, but it became less and less. I often asked my husband to push down hard with his thumb on the affected area. I don't know why, but it helped. I haven't had any symptoms for many years, but am curious about what another patient wrote. She said when thin, it was worse. I was very thin in college and that is when it was bad. I have gained some pounds over the years and now there is no pain. Curious.

Comment from: concernedpatient, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 19

I am 28 years old and was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis at age 12. I have lived with intermittent pain most of my life. Immediately upon diagnosis, I started various treatments: medication, rest, physical therapy, and spent nearly two years in a back brace. As an adult, I have occasional flare-ups, which I treat with rest and heat. Just last week I had a major setback after spending three days babysitting my niece and nephew. It seems the constant stress was more than my back could take, and I spent the next 2 days unable to get even sit up in bed. I am deeply worried now because my husband and I plan to start our own family soon, and I am unsure of the pain and complications that may result from this condition as it relates to a pregnancy - and obviously the stress that constantly lifting and chasing babies around the house will cause. I'm wondering if surgery now (before having children) makes sense, or if this will bear its own set of risks when it comes to pregnancy and child rearing.

Comment from: Live to garden, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

I was diagnosed 20 yrs ago after many years of back pain. Mine is the congenital variety. Everyone seemed quite casual at that time. When the pain started going down my leg 8 yrs ago, medical people were more informative. To ease pain I lay flat on my back with knees bent and legs on a chair for 20 minutes as many times as needed during the day. Alternating ice and heat helps. I found a good physiotherapist to coach me in strengthening the core muscles without making matters worse. (I'm now at a grade 2 displacement). With her instruction I started lifting weights to build up my muscles so that I could do everyday activities without injuring myself. For some exercises I had to start with just the weight of my own body part. Careful stretching is also very important for staying limber and reducing pain. Having someone to take care of the heavy gardening and house cleaning helped avoid recurrences. Most mornings I still wake up with some pain but I've never let it stop me from doing what I want. I don't mind walking instead of running and if something hurts too much, I go easier or stop and look for another way. I wish that someone had looked at my swayback 50 years ago and insisted on my strengthening my abdominal muscles. I may have been able to prevent this. As it is, I just have to keep on working those abs, stretching, straightening and strengthening that back. Strength training won't cure the problem but it sure has eased the severity and frequency of my pain and leg problems.

Comment from: JenniferH, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 15

Hello all I am 30 yr old female and was very recently diagnosed with spondylolisthesis. At my job I sit all day doing customer service and have now been out of work for almost 2mths because sitting is was causes the worst flair ups for me. I was finally approved for short term disability and have a feeling it is going to turn into more long term. I have been going to PT for a week now (3x a week for next 3 wks) is the first thing we (my doctors and I) are going to try. After that we are going to discuss getting shots in my back. I have always been very active going to the gym, taking kickboxing classes and spinning. I am going to try to continue to stay active because it feels better than sitting still. It can be very depressing and even hurts to get out of bed in the morning, but once I am up and move around a bit the pain eases up. It is the sitting for a long period of time that hurts. It’s an unfortunate thing to have to live w/but comforting to know i am not the only one. Hang in there :)

Comment from: Char, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 22

I am a 49 year old female I have Spondylolisthesis L4 L5. I have had back pain since 2004. I take pain medication to sleep and everyday is a challenge to get out of bed. I stay depressed most of the time. I have had the injections and they did not help. I am scared to have the surgery. I feel lost and alone.

Comment from: Celebrant, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 13

Hi I had spondylolisthesis when I was 32 and I had several operations to try and fix it now I live with pain and take pain killers to get through the day. I am sick of surgery aHi I had spondylolisthesis when I was 32 and I had several operations to try and fix it now I live with pain and take pain killers to get through the day. I am sick of surgery and the doctors say lose weight, which I have and the pain is worse than ever before. nd the doctors say loose weight which I have and it is worse than ever before.

Comment from: [email protected], 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 12

This is a very good web site, Congratulations! My name is Luz and I suffering of Spondylolisthesis L5-S1. Normally, I manage the pain without medication but recently I came down from my kitchen ladder and I missed the first step hurting my back. After this, one night my pain was very strong and sharp and for first time, I was injected on my back to help me with my pain. I am looking for more support for patients that having my problem and they were in surgery already. I don't know if I should get the surgery or not.

Comment from: Jenn, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 13

I was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis yesterday. I am 28 years old and a competitive kick boxer. I'm finding the prognosis quite depressing. I start physical therapy this week to work on strengthening my core and flexibility. Here's hoping I see positive results.

Comment from: Babie, 55-64 Female Published: March 29

I was curious about the 81 year old who had a successful surgery. Congratulations on the success! I'm afraid to have the fusion, but have found a reputable neurosurgeon that I respect. He did warn me, though, that most likely I would need another surgery down the line because of damage on the spine above the spondylolisthesis. But my quality of life is greatly affected now with the chronic pain in legs and back so am seriously considering the fusion. It is so helpful to hear of what others are going through - one is not alone with the pain. I continue to be active, but have to rest at night which does not help any longer with the pain.

Comment from: Heather, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 12

I was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis in 1979 aged 16 at L4 & L5. I had a spinal fusion in 1980 and a disectomy in 1986. I have had long periods with no problems or pain but also periods where I have been incapacitated and in severe pain. I do think that exercise helps and I get regular exercise myself, I have found low-impact to be best such as walking.

Comment from: JEANINA, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 12

I was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis 8 years ago, the pain was bad then and it just gets worst, it interferes with daily activities, it interferes with sleep, it hurts so bad in the morning you can barely get out of bed and then it takes an hour before you can move, your back will lock up from doing the simplest things like brushing your teeth, and forget weeding out the garden, last time I did I couldn’t move for 4 days, not to mention the tighten of your hamstrings, and the sciatic pain, but the most hurtful part of this, was not being able to play and dance with my children, as I had before when my first son was young before this all happened, I actually had spondylolisthesis when I got pregnant with my second son, the bigger my belly got the more intense the pain got I would cry and cry and could not take anything. I was been told by many not to get the surgery 9 out of 10 times it does not help, and actually for our condition it will make it worse because it causes a stiffening of the back, we all know we are stiff enough, finally I do have some relief I’ve been on pain meds for about 8 months, don’t get me wrong I still have some pain, but not to the point of crying I am able to do more with my kids, medication has really given me my life back before I felt like I was 90,now I’m 36 and feel like 45,its a big improvement, how was this possible you might be asking yourself, got to a regular MD, all the ortho. will do is send you to PT then opt. for surgery.

Comment from: mandidawn, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 27

This disease is a very depressing thing to deal with. It makes daily functions seem impossible sometimes. I am 23 years old and was diagnosed when I was 13. It’s very painful, and I feel old. I had two children and my condition severely worsened after that. I fee useless. It’s hard for me to take care of my kids or even hold a job. If I even slightly injure myself, both my legs go numb, and I have to go in and get my Cortizone shot. No pain killers because of a contract with the FDA that I’m on. It makes it hard to function. I’m scared to get surgery.

Comment from: ShanKacie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 22

I'm 25 years old and I was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis last year. I went to physical therapy and was able to strengthen my core muscles to help ease the pain in my back. I notice that if I exercise on a regular basis the pain is significantly less, but I don't always have the time. I wear icy hot patches to help dull the pain on a daily basis, but would love to find a daily pill or something that would work better. I would prefer to not have to have surgery. I too, am planning on having children in the next few years and would like to get this under control before adding extra weight and strain to my back.

Comment from: torence, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 12

I was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis in May 2009. I’m only 27. They thought it happened years ago when I ws a teenager. I had steroid injections in June that helped for a couple months, but now the pain is everyday and I can feel it and it makes my stomach churn. I would like fusion surgery, but I am scared I’ll end up paralysed or something. It makes me so sad sometimes, I’m even worried about getting pregnant because of the weight it will put on my back.

Comment from: Babie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 30

I have spondylolisthesis L4-S1 and live with chronic back and leg pain. I had a laminectomy in 2007 which was unsuccessful and I am now considering a fusion surgery. I stay active, but I am very tired of the pain. I'm on Lyrica which has helped a little. I was encouraged to hear of the successful fusion surgeries.

Comment from: 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: October 29

I was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis, since then I've joined the military and began working out regularly. It seems the more I work out and the stronger I become the better my back is. I hardly have any pain anymore. So hang in there and get to the gym! Take one step at a time.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 26

I had a lumbar fusion in December and have improved greatly. I believe that because I chose one of the best surgeons was the reason for this.

Comment from: clf, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I have spondylothesis and osteoarthritis in my back and knees. I found a physical therapy facility that had aqua therapy. I am obese and walking or any activity done standing was very painful for my back and my arthritic knees. The water therapy helped the pain in my legs and back. I was able to exercise without my weight being a problem. I am 5'6 and was exercising in water 4'5". I found that when I was in the water most of my pain disappeared.

Comment from: ladyrose1239, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I understand the pain you are living with. I live with this pain day in and day out. Physical therapy is a total waste of time. I've tried most pain medications/muscle relaxants. Praying and meditation is the best way to help relieve the pain to a degree where I can go to work and keep moving. Resting is the worst thing I can do for the pain. It only gets worse. Ultram medication helps to a degree. Soma helps with the bulging disk. Stenosis/Spondylothesis/Bulging Disk that is affecting a nerve. My advice to anyone who lives with this lower back pain is to KEEP MOVING. It seems the more you move your body, the better you feel. You can't just sit in a chair and think about the pain. You have to get up, get going and attempt to not allow it to rule your life. No matter how bad the pain is MOVE.