Spondylolysthesis (L3 over L4, likely Grade 1) and degenerative disc disease

by Susan
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

I am a 69 year old female with strong hip bones! It's pretty much downhill from there and I need my bones to last for another 20 years.

I have severe degeneration in my neck with movement restriction but not too much discomfort (luckily the spaces the nerves pass through are huge).

My lower back is more of an issue and I understand the disk slip is likely the cause. I play tennis and golf. My Florida chiropractor uses a table like the one I see on your website-my spine is held stationary and the lower part of the table is moved side-to-side. It seems to help and feels good, but could you explain what it is doing? The chiropractors in Toronto don't seem to use these tables.

I came across your YouTube video on Building Core Lower Back Muscles (quadratus lamborum and Iliopsoas). These exercises somewhat duplicate the feeling of the chiropractic table, and seem to bring some motion into stiff joints. Thank you!

You mention exercises that need to be done every day. Can you let me know what I should be doing for my back, and possibly for my neck?

Many thanks,

Hello Susan,
Thank you for your letter, and it's great to hear how active you still are; the longer you can keep it up the better for your body and mind. Just accept that you can't hit the ball so far any more; forcing it will only injure you.

There are two kinds of spondylolysthesis and it sounds like you have the degenerative kind; wear and tear after a lot of golf and probably a few falls on the ice too.

I think the table you must be looking at is called a McManis traction table. There are many companies making them; mine is nearly 40 years old and still in daily use.

It opens and closes the facet joints, like the hip hike exercise you found, but tractioning the joints at the same time; it's even more beneficial but that home exercise is a treat; I do it myself every morning before getting out of bed.

At Chiropractic Help, in the navigation bar on the left, you'll find the exercises. Do them in bed every morning before arising. They take about two minutes.

Please send a separate letter for your neck.

Dr B

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Chiropractic help Questions (Low back pain).

Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward it to a suffering friend. Better still, Tweet or Face Book it.

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Then forward it to a friend. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.