How to Sit with Spondylolisthesis? Complete Guide

How to Sit with Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a condition where one of the vertebrae slips out onto the vertebra below it. Children, athletes, elderly people, or anyone can suffer from this problem. But it is very common in people over the age of 50.

When it comes to sitting with spondylolisthesis, the best option is to sit with your legs bent at 90 degrees and your back straight. The risk of further compression of the spine will be reduced by this distribution of pressure. Maintaining a neutral spine position, using an ergonomic chair like zero gravity chair, and using back braces to help support the spine are some of the tips on how to sit with spondylolisthesis.

This post will give you a detailed answer to your questions.

How To Sit With Spondylolisthesis – A Complete Guide

Spondylolisthesis may be painful but it should not take over your life.

  • Sit Up Straight
  • Don’t cross your legs
  • Don’t lean back too much in your chair
  • Use a Back Brace to support your back
  • Use an ergonomic office chair
  • Don’t sit in the same posture for more than 30 minutes
  • Avoid sitting on your wallet or anything hard

Finding your Neutral Spine Position

Understanding neutral spine position

To effectively support your back during sitting, you want all parts of your back—the sacrum (the triangular bone between your hips), coccyx (tailbone), and lumbar vertebrae—to align in what is your neutral spine position.

The neutral position means that all of these areas are neither flat against one another nor arched away from one another; they should be aligned so there is no curve in any direction.

When your back is in neutral, your head is in line with your shoulders, your hips are in line with your knees, and your feet are in line with your hips.

You can maintain a balanced spine position by following these steps:

  • Sitting in a chair with your back settled at the backrest
  • Standing with your feet apart about the width of your shoulder.
  • You can lie down on your back with your knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor

If you are not sure whether you are in a neutral spine position, ask a friend or family member to check for you.

Selecting an Ergonomic Chair to Sit with Spondylolisthesis

How Sitting Affects your Spine

“How you should be sitting with spondylolisthesis” depends on your choice of chair. Most ergonomic chairs come with lumbar support.

When you sit in an office, you should adjust the seat and the back. You can adjust the seat by tilting it forward or backward, or by moving the seat up or down.

When it comes down to it, the best ergonomic chair for spondylolisthesis is the one that fits your needs.

  • First, think about how you’ll be using it.
  • Second, consider your budget.
  • Finally, it is wise to read the reviews before you buy a chair.

Shedding a Few Pounds Might Help

Perhaps you have been carrying excess weight for decades. This is the time to take action. Obesity is a major health factor that causes lower back pain.

Ideally, reducing a few pounds can help you recover from spondylolisthesis. And will surely improve your sitting style.

Using a Back Brace for Sitting with Spondylolisthesis

Wearing a back brace is often recommended as a treatment. It acts as a posture corrector and:

  • support your spine by keeping it aligned
  • lessen the stress on your spine
  • stabilize your back
  • relieve pain while sitting

The type of brace that is right for you will depend on the severity of your condition and your individual preferences. For example, you may only need to wear a brace when you are lifting heavy objects or playing sports.

Wearing a back brace is not a cure for spondylolisthesis, but it can help to ease your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Doing Physical Therapy for Spondylolisthesis

Your physical therapist will likely start by asking you about your symptoms and your medical history.

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises: Exercise can increase your flexibility and strengthen the muscles around your spine.
  • Ice and heat: Applying ice or heat to your back can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Ultrasound: This therapy uses sound waves to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Electrical stimulation: This therapy uses electrical impulses to reduce pain.
  • Massage: Massage can help reduce muscle tension.

Your physical therapist will likely also teach you some ways to prevent spondylolisthesis from getting worse.

Exercises that Improve Sitting Posture in Spondylolisthesis

Therapists recommend a few simple exercises to strengthen abdominal and back muscles. These can be done at home without the assistance of a physiotherapist.

Pelvic tilt exercise

It helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the back and hips, which can help to stabilize the spine and reduce the risk of further injury.

To do the pelvic tilt, start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place a hand on your stomach and another on your lower back.

As you exhale, flatten your lower back against the floor. Next, tighten your abdominal muscles and tilt your pelvis upward, bringing your lower back off the floor.

Hold this position for five seconds, then slowly lower your back. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

Gluteal Stretch

This stretch targets the muscles and ligaments around the joint that connects your spine to your hip.

To do this exercise you should lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.  Place a foam roller or rolled-up towel under your right hip.

Cross your left leg over your right leg, placing your left ankle on top of your right knee.  Gently pull your right leg toward your chest with your left hand.

Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

The Hamstring Stretch

The hamstrings are the three muscles that run along the back of the thigh, from the hip to the knee. A common problem that can limit hamstring flexibility is spondylolisthesis.

To do this exercise, lie on your back with your legs straight. Slowly raise one leg, keeping it as straight as possible. Hold the leg in the air for a few seconds, and then lower it back down. Repeat with the other leg.

Avoid bouncing or jerking movements, as this can put unnecessary stress on the muscles and joints. Start with gentle stretches and gradually increase the intensity as you become more flexible.

Arm and Leg raise

It is also known as the bird dog exercise. The quadruped arm and leg raise will help improve flexibility.

Activities to Avoid

Whether you’re at the office or in-home, keep in mind the following factors that can aggravate your suffering:

  • Don’t twist or bend too much
  • Limit your high-intensity activities
  • No weight lifting until you recover

Things you should know about Spondylolisthesis

It can occur anywhere in the spine, but L5-S1 is the common site.

Depending on the severity of the pain, it is categorized into low-grade and high-grade spondylolisthesis. A low grade usually does not require surgery while a high grade does.

It is more prevalent in women than men. National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests that 6-7% of the adult population has spondylolisthesis.

What Causes Spondylolisthesis?

How to sit with spondylolisthesis

The prevalent cause is degeneration of the joints. This happens when the joints between the vertebrae wear down. This can happen with age, but it can also happen because of repetitive motions or overuse.

The next most common cause is a birth defect. This is a problem with the way the vertebrae form in the womb. This defect can make the joints between the vertebrae weaker.

The third cause is spinal cord injury. This can happen from a fall, car accident, or other types of trauma. The injury can damage the joints between the vertebrae or the backbone.

Other conditions, such as tumors or infections may cause spondylolisthesis. These conditions are less common causes of spondylolisthesis.

What Are The Symptoms Of Spondylolisthesis?

The symptoms of spondylolisthesis can vary from none to severe. This can occur in any part of your spine, but it happens in your lower back most commonly.

You might also feel pain in your buttocks or legs. This comes about because the vertebrae are putting pressure on the nerves that go to your legs.

Other symptoms include:

  • Muscle tightness and stiffness
  • Trouble standing up or walking
  • A “waddle” when you walk
  • A loss of feeling in your legs
  • Weakness in your legs

Diagnosis And Treatment

A physical examination by a doctor is usually enough to diagnose this condition. Imaging tests, such as an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI can be done to confirm the diagnosis.

An accurate diagnosis is essential and you should never mistake this condition for sciatica.

Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. For mild cases, rest and pain medicine may be all that is needed. For more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to put the vertebrae back in place.


1. What is the common symptom of spondylolisthesis?

Lower back pain, leg pain, and weakness in the leg after standing.

2. What is the leading cause of spondylolisthesis?

Aging, genetics, or spinal injuries can cause it.

3. How is spondylolysis different from spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolysis is a small fracture in vertebrae while spondylolisthesis is the slipping of one vertebra over the next.

4. How do you prevent spondylolisthesis from getting worse?

Physiotherapy, maintaining a healthy weight, and pain medications work best.

5. How do I sit with spondylolisthesis?

Use an ergonomic chair that supports your lower back.

6. What should you not do with spondylolisthesis?

Avoid poor posture, bending, and lifting weights.

Final words

In the end, you must now have sufficient knowledge of “how to sit with spondylolisthesis?”

Briefly, you can do a few things to help, including practicing good ergonomics and getting regular physiotherapy. When you’re sitting, it’s important to maintain a neutral spine position to minimize strain on your back. To do this, make sure you’re sitting up straight with your shoulders relaxed and your lower back supported.

Choosing a comfortable and supportive chair can also go a long way in promoting good posture and preventing back pain. To protect your back, it’s a good idea to take regular breaks throughout the day and stretch your back and legs. This can help relieve tension and stiffness that can build up from prolonged sitting.

Above all, be mindful of your health and well-being. Take care of yourself by getting enough rest, staying active, and eating a balanced diet. And if you do experience back pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention to address the issue and get back to feeling your best.

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I am Karen writing this story for you. My specialization is in the principles of biomechanics meant to improve the quality of life in humans. I’ve more than 10 years of experience in the field of workplace productivity. My passion for yoga has influenced me to teach everyone how to sit and select the best chairs for work and recreation. I try to add value to help this project grow services day by day.



Joshua is the founder and an ergonomist by profession. With over 10 years of working as a furniture designer and consultant, his depth of knowledge is invaluable for our project. He also manages content editing and product reviews.



Carl is a web developer and a tech enthusiast. He likes working at night and has been doing so for the past 9 years. His sense of color selection and understanding of user-friendly interface continues to amaze us. Besides that, Carl is a food lover and a pro at video gaming.