Conservative Treatment for Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips forward over the vertebra below it. This condition can be a progression of spondylolysis if the stress fracture weakens the vertebra sufficiently to cause slippage.

Symptoms of spondylolisthesis

  • Lower back pain, often similar to spondylolysis.
  • Radiating pain to the buttocks and legs (sciatica) due to nerve compression.
  • Muscle tightness or stiffness.
  • In severe cases, neurological symptoms like numbness, weakness, or bowel/bladder dysfunction.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, book an assessment and treatment at The Back Clinic.

Causes of spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis can result from spondylolysis, degenerative changes (common in older adults), congenital factors, trauma, or pathological conditions (such as tumors).

Different types include congenital (dysplastic), isthmic (related to spondylolysis), degenerative, traumatic, and pathologic spondylolisthesis.


  • Conservative treatments include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and activity modification.
  • Bracing might be used to stabilize the spine.
  • Surgical intervention may be required in cases with significant slippage, neurological symptoms, or failure of conservative treatment.

The DBC Protocol

The Back Clinic uses the DBC Program to target and strengthen specific muscles. We also take a multidisciplinary approach (physiotherapy and biokinetics) to treatment to reduce your pain and symptoms promptly, while improving strength and function to help you avoid surgery where possible. The treatment for Spondylolysis often involves emphasizing activity modification, core stabilization exercises, and gradual return to normal activities. This structured approach aims to strengthen the muscles supporting the spine and promote healing while minimizing the risk of recurrence. 

For more info on treatment, request a call by filling out the contact form below. We will respond to you shortly.

Some of the Medical Aids that cover treatment.

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