How Physical Therapy Helps Spondylolisthesis Back Pain

back pain with activity

Physical Therapy For Back Pain From Spondylolisthesis


Spinal stenosis is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the spinal canal narrows, causing compression on the spinal cord or nerve roots. As a result, individuals with this condition may experience pain and stiffness in their lower back, buttocks, legs, or feet.

The good news is that through physical therapy, these symptoms can be alleviated, and overall function can be improved. Physical therapy goals include managing pain and inflammation, improving mobility, increasing strength and flexibility, as well as preventing further health complications. An individualized treatment plan tailored to each patient’s unique needs and goals can help manage spinal stenosis effectively.

What To Expect At Physical Therapy

Upon your arrival at a physical therapy session, your therapist will conduct a physical examination to evaluate your range of motion (ROM), strength, medical history, and other relevant factors. They will then create a personalized treatment plan based on your desired outcomes.

This regimen may include therapeutic exercises to enhance your posture, balance, core stability, flexibility, and strength, along with stretching protocols tailored exclusively for you. Additionally, manual therapies like joint mobilization or massage therapy may be recommended to address specific needs. You may receive guidance on how to employ hot or cold packs at home, if necessary.

With a customized treatment plan in place, you’ll be better positioned to make progress toward optimal physical health under the expert care of your physical therapist.

What Types Of Exercises You Might Do

Your physical therapist will provide an individualized program tailored to meet your specific needs but there are several common exercises used when treating spinal stenosis.

  • Core stabilization exercises like crunches and planks, strengthen the abdominal muscles.
  • Knee bends which target the lower leg muscles.
  • Hamstring stretches to increase flexibility.
  • Balance exercises, like standing on one foot.
  • Gluteal stretches to release tension in the buttocks area.
  • Mobilizing activities, such as walking or swimming, that promote movement within the spine.
  • Posture correction exercises, like a wall sits, improve alignment throughout the body.

How Long Recovery Takes

Recovery time from spinal stenosis varies based on age, lifestyle, and pre-existing medical conditions. See improvements in just 12 weeks with consistent exercise, professional guidance, and lifestyle modifications such as restful sleep and avoiding aggravating activities.


Physical therapy effectively treats spinal stenosis and back pain without drugs or surgery. Experienced professionals develop customized treatment plans that improve quality of life significantly without causing severe consequences from invasive procedures or prescriptions.