Yoga Poses for Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a condition when a vertebra slips forward over a lower vertebra due to a congenital defect or fracture. It usually affects either the fourth or the fifth lumbar vertebra in the lower back. In some instances, this may lead to spinal cord or nerve root compression, back pain, and numbness or weakness in the legs. The low back pain that results from Spondylolisthesis can be reduced by first by gently stretching the hamstrings and then by slowly strengthening the back muscles and abdominal muscles. You also want to choose postures that focus on good spinal alignment. End with a long shavasana with bolster under knees and/or a folded blanket under the low back to support the low back.

Caution: Back bends are contraindicated and postures that combine twisting and forward bending are not recommended. In forward bends, keep the back flat and long. If a yoga pose causes any pain, tingling, or numbness, stop immediately. Move into the poses slowly and gently; use long hold times and practice slow deep breathing in the poses. Any movements that increase your symptoms should be avoided.

Click on an image or posture name for detailed instructions, contraindications and modifications.

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