A retrolisthesis is a slippage of a vertebra backwards or posteriorly on the vertebra below it. It is the opposite of an anterolisthesis, or spondylolisthesis where the vertebra slips forward.

It is usually accompanied by disc breakdown, whether that is a bulge, a disc herniation, or degenerative disc disease.


Retrolisthesis typically cause more pain and discomfort than anterolisthesis. There are a few likely reasons for this. One is that behind the vertebra lie the spinal cord and nerve roots, so a slip backwards can cause neuroforaminal narrowing or stenosis, or spinal stenosis. Additionally, it can cause more compression of the facet joints.


The symptoms  of a retrolisthesis are often a deep gnawing aching nagging pain in the low back area. The pain can radiate into the buttocks or legs, or it may just be a local back pain.


As discs do not slip, yet the vertebra do, we need to look at why this happens. It is almost always a consequence of the disc malfunctioning, either by degenerating or bulging. Therefore the best treatment for this is one that addresses the cause of the issue.


Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression done in a position that helps to relieve the retrolisthesis is a often a perfect treatment for this. Non- surgical spinal decompression allows us to reduce the compressive force on the disc, allowing us to reduce the disc herniation size and restore normal function to the disc. This can then remove the pressure on pinched nerves and  help to correct the retrolisthesis thereby reducing and eliminating the pain caused by them. In addition, there are several specific therapies we utilize to help reduce your retrolisthesis as well as other therapies designed to improve strength and mobility to your spine hips and neck to reduce the likelihood of re-injury. Non- invasive, non- surgical decompression should always be tried before surgery after a proper neurological examination has been performed to determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure. Call us now to Find out if you’re a candidate.