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Spondylolysis, and mild stenosis

ohredwood's picture
Last seen:
12 years 1 month ago
10/01/2011 - 8:40pm
Spondylolysis, and mild stenosis

Hi, new to the forum I am. I have read through several of the posts and have tremendous hope for success from the Gokhale Method.

My story,

I'm 40 years old and fairly active male, 5'8" at 165lbs. About 15 years ago, I started noticing some numby, tingly activity traveling down my left leg. I saw my first chiropractor, he took an exray and said I had some birth defect, and spin was trying to fuse somewhere around the s1 area I believe. He said with several treatments we could get mobility in low spine and it should clear up. About a month later it did clear up.


Since then, over the years, once in a while I get a little inflamation or flare up around the left SI joint, with a little trigger point therapy work with a ball and some stretching I manage to calm it down for weeks until the next time.

I've recently started going back to the gym after 20 years, and very slowly adding weight, and excercises. I also started some light yoga for about a week, since my wife is big on that. Well my low left back had flared up and is not going away this time, it got so bad, I couldn't sleep, couldn't get comfortable.


I went to my doctor, asked for some pills to help me sleep, an updated mri to see if something has progressed or majorly broke and physical therapy. This is also the time frame I found Ester Gokhale website.

My MRI....

The usual 5 non rib bearing lumbar verebral bodies are presumed present.

Alignment:  Normal lordosis, No scoliosis.

No compression fractures from T12-s1. Note is made of a hemangloma of the L5 vertebral body.

Lower thoracic cord: Normal in size and signal. The tip of the comus is at the L1-L2 level.

Soft tissues : No signal abnormalities.

Paraspinal muscles: Well preserved. No signal abnormalties.

L1-L2 through L4-L5: No abnormalties.

L5-S1L There are bilateral pars defects at L5, without spondylolisthesis. Mild assymmetric left disc bulge and left facet hypertrophy result in mild left foraminal stenosis. The spinal canal is patent.


There it is, I have read on the internet and the word stenosis has me concerned. Basically I get it, some ddd, discs are drying out, and bulging slightly to the left along with narrowing of the nerve tunnel I think which is causing some discomfort and pain at this level.

I am in physical therapy as we speak, working on core excercises. I thought I was but have found out crunches are not all to abdominal core work. We are working very hard on transverse abs and this goes along with Esther's work and your inner corset. I like most people only use these muscles when I'm bracing for something bad, use the bathroom, or lift something real heavy.

I have started reading The 8 steps book, and begun the work there. I find since I'm a side sleeper the side stretch works for me better. I even bought a knee pillow since my bony knees have made me throw one leg over the other through the night, and I realize that, my posture and bad habits have no doubt landed me where I am.

I only hope I can reverse some of this, and get some disc health back so I don't have to continue shutting down activities in my life. I am struggling a bit with stretch sitting but I have a stretch cushion being delivered today, that should help. I am familiar with traction, my chiropractor has his corset velcro table that uses it, and I can feel the pull. It is a similiar feel when I side stretch, I can feel some pull, when I breathe deep.

charlenehannibal's picture
Last seen:
2 years 9 months ago
12/15/2010 - 7:51am

I'm so glad to hear that the Gokhale Method is helpful to you!  You are doing all of the right things-Stretchlying on the Side, Stretchsitting, Inner Corset, etc.  Traction should be very helpful to you since your discs need to plump back up, and hopefully the added length will allow the nerves to get through without the Stenosis getting in the way.  Once you are feeling lengthened, I would focus on the pelvis.  Properly tipping the pelvis forward (anteverting the pelvis) is the best way to protect your L5-S1 disc and preserve it's wedge shape.  

Good luck to you and I hope to work with you sometime in the future!


Charlene Hannibal

Gokhale Method Teacher, Palo Alto and San Francisco

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