Spondylolisthesis Exercises

Your spine is made of bones called vertebrae that are joined together by soft discs that act as shock absorbers.

Spondylolisthesis is caused when one of your vertebrae slips forward and rests on the bone beneath it, causing pain. Spondylolisthesis may necessitate surgery in severe cases. However, invasive procedures are not always required. Gentle Spondylolisthesis exercises can help reduce pain and improve your quality of life.

Spondylolisthesis Exercises that can aid BACK PAIN


Our bone specialist Dr. Akhil Tawari always recommends strengthening exercises or physical therapy to help you with similar exercises before you are required to take up certain invasive treatment methods. There are numerous simple moves you can try at home to increase strength and flexibility.

Here are some of them:

Pelvic Tilt

Pelvic Tilt exercises involve some of your core muscles, which helps your lower spine stay stable.

Step 1: Lie flat on the floor, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor.

Step 2: Using your abdominal muscles, pull your belly button in – towards your spine and flatten your lower back onto the floor.

Step 3: Hold the position for 15 seconds while keeping your core muscles engaged, and then relax.

Repeat the exercise 5–10 times more.

Knee to Chest

This Spondylolisthesis Exercise works the deep core muscles, which helps to stabilize your spine and relieve pain.

Step 1: Lie flat on your back, knees bent, and feet flat on the ground. Maintain your arms by your sides with your palms facing down.

Step 2: Pull your belly button inward toward your spine to engage your core muscles.

Step 3: Pull one of your knees up toward your chest with your arms for added stability. Stay at this position for 5 seconds before returning to the original position.

Step 4: Repeat the stretch with your other leg, bringing your knee to your chest and holding for 5 counts before returning to the starting position.

Step 5: Finish the stretch by pulling both knees to your chest, counting to five, and relaxing back to the starting position.

Repeat this sequence two to three times, ideally once in the morning and once at night.

Quadruped Arms and Legs Raise

The quadruped arm and leg raise, also known as the bird dog exercise, is one of the most effective Spondylolisthesis Exercises. It targets core muscles to strengthen your abdomen, hip flexors, glutes, and spine.

Step 1: Start off by getting down on your hands and knees.

Step 2: Tighten your core and raise one arm and the opposite leg straight out.

Step 3: Hold for 5 seconds before lowering your arm and leg back to the starting position.

Step 4: Do the same thing with the opposite arm and leg.

Repeat the exercise ten times on each side.

Multifidus Activation

The multifidus muscles are small muscles near your spine that help you twist and bend. This Spondylolisthesis Exercise helps strengthen the multifidus muscles, which are weak in many people.

Step 1: While lying on your side, locate the groove in your back next to your spine with your free hand.

Step 2: Engage your core by imagining yourself moving your chest (do not move your leg). The multifidus muscles should bulge under your fingers.

Step 3: Relax after holding the pose for 3 seconds.

Repeat the exercise ten times more. Then, lying on your other side, repeat the exercise 10 times more.

Stretching of the Gluteal

Stretching your glute muscles can assist in relieving tension and tightness. It can also reduce lower back pain, including spondylolisthesis pain.

Step 1: Begin by lying down flat on your back with your knees bent.

Step 2: Place one ankle just above the knee of the other leg.

Step 3: Grasp the bottom leg’s thigh and pull it toward your chest until you feel a stretch in your buttocks. It should not be a painful experience.

Step 4: Hold your leg in place for 15 to 30 seconds before releasing it.

Rep the exercise three times on each leg.


Remember that none of the exercises you do should cause you pain. They’re supposed to make it ease your pain and not worsen it. Avoid exercises that feel painful while performing.

Pro Tips

The exercises should only cause some tension or gentle stretch.

●        So, if exercises hurt, try reducing the number of repetitions or holding the positions for fewer seconds.

●        Try keeping away from heavy lifting, lifting with your back, and strenuous exercises.

If pain aggravates, CONTACT our SPINE SPECIALIST

Dr. Akhil Tawari, with more than 15 years of Orthopaedic experience, has been providing specialized treatments for complex spinal conditions such as Spondylolisthesis, slip disc, lumbar canal stenosis, and many other spine conditions.

Contact or book an appointment to receive a verified line of treatment and to learn more about Spondylolisthesis Exercises and treatment methods.