Articles researched and written by Sally Ann Quirke, a fully qualified professional chartered Physiotherapist based in Ireland.

Think of your spine as a number of bones (known as vertebra) that are stacked one on top of the other like a flexible pillar. (If you would like to know more, see my spine anatomy article).

When one vertebra moves forwards out of alignment with the one below it, the condition is known as spondylolisthesis - “spondylo” meaning spine and “listhesis” meaning slippage. It most often occurs in the lower or lumbar region of the spine.

When this happens, it can impinge on the spinal cord or nerve roots and when it does so, it can lead to pain. This section of looks as the causes symptoms and what you can do to alleviate spondylolisthesis.

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Isthmic spondylolisthesis »


When one vertebra moves forwards out of that alignment it is referred to as spondylolisthesis - “spondylo” meaning spine and “listhesis” meaning slippage. The ithmic part tells us what type of spondylolisthesis it is.

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While the content and materials contained in the articles on this website have been written & researched by Sally Ann Quirke, a professional, practising & fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist) based in Ireland, they are provided for general information and educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation. Please see your Chartered Physiotherapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.

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