Spondylolisthesis is a condition in the spine where one bone (vertebra) slides forward or backward on the bone below it. Although it is not extremely common, it most commonly occurs due to the gradual wear and tear changes that occur in the spine which can lead to instability and increased movement of the vertebrae.  It also can occur due to trauma, repetitive stress on the spine, and congenital deformities of the vertebrae. It is graded 1-4 based on how far the bone has shifted, with 1 being least severe and 4 being the most severe. Most cases can be treated non-surgically by managing the symptoms. Severe cases may need surgery to stabilize the spine.


  • Neck or back stiffness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Increased pain with prolonged walking or standing
  • Pain with bending or changing positions
  • Numbness and tingling into the arms or legs


  • Avoid or limit positions and activities that increase symptoms
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Osteopathic manipulation
  • Steroid injections
  • Acupuncture
  • Laser therapy
  • Bracing

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