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How to manage spondylosis/spondylolisthesis?

Q: I am suffering from spondylosis for the last six months. The doctor told me that it is spondilolysthesis (L5 over S1) and also found degenerative disc but I could not undrstand the problem clearly. The doctor also told me that it will take 2 to 3 years to cure. I have severe leg pains but not much back pain and I am using a lumbar corset. The problem is there if I strain too much. Please tell me what I have to do and is it possible to cure it with some physical exercises. If I remove the belt I get pain in both my back and legs. Please advise.

A:Spondylolisthesis is slipping of one vertebra over the other. Usually its L5 over S1. The treatment is directed towards symptoms and the grade of slip. So without looking at the radiographs, its difficult to assume what grade of slip you have. Anyways - since you have symptoms, its better to start with physical therapy. These are mainly trunk stabilization exercises and abdominal strengthening exercises. The concern is involvement of nerves and pressure from the slipping vertebras as you said your slip is degenerative. The pain may be due to the degenerative disc or from compression over neural structures. Surgery is indicated in cases of incapacitating pain or signs of nerve compression. It involves decompression and spinal fusion.

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