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How to Sit With Spondylolisthesis

08 January 2024

A spine disorder called spondylolisthesis happens when a vertebra slips out of place, resulting in pain and suffering. Due to the added strain on the lumbar spine, where the slippage typically takes place, sitting might make the issue worse.

Spondylolisthesis sufferers should sit with a neutral spine and their lower back fully supported by the chair's backrest. Reduce any uncomfortable postures including slouching, twisting, or bending. Be sure to keep your spine level and uncross your legs.

When you receive a spondylolisthesis diagnosis, you might not be so sure about what to anticipate. Here, we will discuss what you need to know about living with spondylolisthesis in order to better understand your disease and how to manage it.

If you have symptomatic spondylolisthesis, you are probably aware of how uncomfortable it may be to sleep and sit. This spinal condition happens when a lumbar spine vertebra falls out of place and rests on the vertebra right below it. When this happens, the dislocated vertebra may put pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves, resulting in discomfort and neurological problems.

Your physician likely advised you to keep up a straight posture if you have been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis. But what does that imply for a person with this condition? Sitting properly can significantly help with pain relief and increase mobility.

Understanding Spondylolisthesis

When a vertebrae bone in the spine falls out of position, it causes spondylolisthesis. It is a spinal disorder that causes one of your lower spinal bones to dislocate and slide forward on the bone directly beneath it. The sliding can vary in severity and is extremely unpleasant, making it difficult for those who experience it to sit comfortably in their chairs.

Although this disc movement mainly affects the lower back, some individuals may also experience it in the middle of their spine. Certain daily exercises and the use of an ergonomic chair can help alleviate the disc slip, but in severe cases, people will also need to undergo surgery to realign their spine. Spondylolisthesis frequently manifests as hamstring muscle tightness, neck and leg stiffness, thigh pain, and lower back tenderness and discomfort. The condition is frequently brought about by overextending the spine, heredity, or aging-related wear and tear, can put pressure on a nerve and produce discomfort. Surprisingly, a person with spondylolisthesis may occasionally be completely unaware of their condition because the illness might exist without showing any symptoms.

Symtoms of Spondylolisthesis

Lower back ache

Stiffness or tightness in the low back

Back and leg discomfort

Not being able to stand or walk

Pain while bending over

Hamstring pain

Foot weakness, tingling, or numbness

An imaging test is used to determine the cause and symptoms of spondylolisthesis. Anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections, bracing, and physical therapy are frequently used throughout the course of treatment to help the patient's abdominal muscles and back become stronger. If the condition is serious, your doctor might advise surgery.

Doctors sometimes refer to spondylolisthesis in terms of degrees or grades. Grade I spondylolisthesis is less severe than grade IV; the grade simply denotes the severity of the dislocation.

Spondylolisthesis typically affects the lower back vertebrae, but it can also harm the neck or the middle to upper back. If the vertebrae impinge on a nerve root, you can also experience pins and needles, tingling, or numbness all the way to your foot. Although it can occur anywhere along the spine, it usually targets the lower back. Although therapy may alleviate some of the discomfort, the condition itself can be an excruciating experience for the patient.

Spondylolisthesis is typically brought on by a degenerative condition like arthritis. However, an injury or congenital handicap may also be the cause. You can feel stiffness and back pain if you have spondylolisthesis. Additionally, you could find it difficult to stand up straight or straighten your back.

How to Sit with Spondylolisthesis?

Having an ergonomic workplace requires you to take care of your overall health, including spinal health. People who suffer from spondylolisthesis find it very difficult to sit properly due to spinal dislocation.

The most comfortable way to sit with spondylolisthesis is to place both feet flat on the floor and raise your seat as high as possible. You should use a lumbar cushion and tilt your spine slightly forward 8 to 10 degrees.

Keep Your Spine Neutral

The most crucial thing to remember when sitting with spondylolisthesis is to make every effort to keep your spine as neutral as possible. By relieving pressure on the lower back, where the damaged vertebrae are usually located, this helps to calm the situation down.

The term "neutral spine" in ergonomics refers to a position in which the spine's three natural curvatures are kept. This enables the spine to disperse the weight imposed on it uniformly across the entire construction, like a series of arched bridges. As a result, when seated, you should feel an inward bend in the lower back. You can keep your spine in a neutral position by using the lumbar support provided in an ergonomic chair.

Adjust Your Posture

It's always a good idea to keep adjusting your posture while sitting. This is especially crucial for anyone who suffers from back or neck problems, including spondylolisthesis. Altering your posture on a regular basis relieves pressure on various joints and muscles in your body and promotes blood flow to those areas. This is necessary to encourage appropriate healing for the spine. Sit in a slightly reclined position so that your back is fully supported by the backrest. Again, note the small inward bend of the lower back. To help you remember to switch up your sitting postures, set an alarm for every hour or so.

Get Up and Move

Low impact workouts that don't entail twisting or overextending the back can be highly beneficial for those with spondylolisthesis. This includes performing certain stretches, moving around, and standing to release pressure from your vertebrae.

People with spondylolisthesis can engage in the low-impact activities listed below to build muscles and ease discomfort around their joints:

Dead bug practice

Pelvis tilts

Knee raises

Hamstring stretches

Use a Brace

According to research, back braces can lessen spondylolisthesis-related pain. A back brace prevents the vertebrae from slipping farther out of alignment, reducing fatigue and pain. Your muscles and the structures around them may become more strained and stressed as the vertebrae move farther out of position.

The lower lumbar spine region, where spondylolisthesis is more likely to occur, should typically be the focus of this brace. You might wish to choose a bespoke brace that is tailored and created for your body and lower spine if corset or stabilising braces don't help your spondylolisthesis symptoms. Back braces come in various designs. People with spondylolisthesis who use a lower back brace have reported that they found some relief.

Use an Ergonomic Chair

A body-supporting ergonomic chair is an excellent investment that may make a huge difference. It makes keeping your spine neutral considerably simpler. The best ergonomic chairs for spondylolisthesis include strong lumbar support that can be adjusted according to the depth and height.

Keep a Healthy Weight and Way of Life

Unnecessary pressure and stress on the spine can be caused by excess weight. Keeping a healthy weight can therefore benefit people who have spondylolisthesis.

Additionally, a healthy lifestyle helps lessen and restrict the symptoms of spondylolisthesis. This entails drinking adequate water throughout the day, consuming several wholesome foods, and maintaining a moderate level of activity. If you don't know how to put together a balanced diet, talking to a nutritionist can help you choose which foods are best for your goals and your overall health.

Final Thoughts

The best way to prevent pain if you have spondylolisthesis is to sit with proper posture in a chair with sufficient lower back support. In order to sit with good posture, your shoulders should be relaxed and your back should be straight. To avoid having to crane your head up or down when using a computer, the screen should be placed at eye level.

You can sit comfortably in chairs with insufficient support by putting a towel rolled up behind your lower back or a lumbar roll pillow. To keep your lumbar spine in alignment while you sit, be careful to keep your spine level and your legs uncrossed.

Many individuals with spondylolisthesis have little or no pain and the condition can mostly be controlled without the need for surgery provided that you are careful. It all comes down to how well you take care of your body and how you sit.

You should consult with a doctor before trying anything out. Positive lifestyle changes can make a big impact on your health. It is best to take regular break from sitting and move around to engage your muscles. You should also invest in high quality ergonomic chairs or a back brace to avoid lower back pain and discomfort. Maintain a healthy lifestyle that benefits your long term health and wellness.