Spondylolisthesis Workshop

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Frequently Pilates is used as a post-physical therapy treatment for spondylolisthesis.  Using MRIs and models, Sonjé Mayo explains what this spondylolisthesis is and why hyperextension of the lumbar spine is contraindicated.  Hear about the experience of having spondylolisthesis from a patient with the condition.  Learn which cautious flexion exercises help your clients get stronger and move forward in life without setback. Finally, help your clients address their daily life activities more safely. Filmed at Pilatesology Studio in Hermosa Beach.  Find Sonje at http://sonjemayo.com.

What Others Are Saying


  1. Galassia
    Galassia 2 weeks ago

    Super workshop Sonje!! A precious source of accurate meaningful information, my deepest gratitude for it! I have a question about a case I will have to deal with shortly: a middle aged woman with a spondylolisthesis due to car accident and with surgery on D7/8 where they inserted many years ago titanium rods and brackets. She says she has no pain whatsoever, I will do a good body scan, work on elongation first and extention, do you have perhaps any other advise about modifications? Grazie mille!

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonjé Mayo 2 weeks ago

      Hi Galassia,
      I assume you mean surgery on T 7/8 (thoracic spine)?
      Also I assume that the spondylolisthesis is in the lumbo-sacral area?
      Yes, start by strengthening the core in extension and then see how she tolerates flexion of the thoracic spine. Remember that T6 and T9 will be at risk.
      Avoid hyperextension in the area with the spondylolisthesis. You already found the answers yourself…..well done!!

      • Galassia
        Galassia 2 weeks ago

        Thank you Sonje! The spondylolisthesis is in the brackets, T7-8 (sorry, the D is italian for dorsalis) so in the thoracic spine due to the accident. Because it is not in the more common lumbar spine I was wondering if I need to take more issues in consideration, except for carefully investigating about flexion in the thoracic spine. She is very tight in the legs, very short in hamstrings so I guess also the lumbar spine, but no big lordosis. I guess the tightness of the thoracic spine has followed through the lombar spine. Also short back of the neck. Big tense body but happy soul inside 🌈☺️

        • Sonjé Mayo Author
          Sonjé Mayo 2 weeks ago

          That is even easier because I erroneously thought you had 2 problem areas to deal with.
          You are correct that you will have to carefully monitor the surgical site by carefully introducing flexion. Extension of the thoracic spine will not be a problem.
          And yes, a tight spine will lead to tight hamstrings……..the beauty of the method on the mat is that it will address all the short and weak areas just by adhering to the order and getting the best out of her with each exercise.

          • Galassia
            Galassia 2 weeks ago

            Great and clear! Thank you again Sonjé, for your time and sharing of your knowledge, bis bald 🤗

  2. Gilann 3 weeks ago

    So clear and concise! You are a wonderful presenter, Sonje! I really appreciated how you not only explained the do’s and don’ts with regard to exercises, but also your sharing of real world experiences. And how to “approach” the problem. You give the “big picture.” Learned a lot! Thank you!

  3. Maigualida
    Maigualida 3 weeks ago

    Excellent as usual; I have a client with that pathology and this helps me tremendously I usually do the routine myself so I can feel if there is any arch in the repertua
    my question is how about up stretch, and the long back stretch ? are they aloud after the core gets stronger .
    All my Love to Sonje. May Martin

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonjé Mayo 3 weeks ago

      When the client has learned to fight the lumbar hyperextension by counteracting with strong core muscles, then the client can attempt any exercise.
      They may have to hold back on the extension range a little, but it is safe with a strong abdominal wall.
      Keep in mind that to achieve the necessary strength (and the humility to control the range) will take time.
      Best regards,

  4. gaynorlouise13 3 weeks ago

    Thank you for generously sharing your knowledge!

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonjé Mayo 3 weeks ago

      It is a pleasure to impart my knowledge to people like you!

  5. Suilven
    Suilven 3 weeks ago

    Loved this workshop. Everything explained so clearly. I was a bit afraid of this but now feel enabled and more confident to deal with it .

    • Sonjé Mayo Author
      Sonjé Mayo 3 weeks ago

      Knowledge is power……now you have the tools to help your clients!
      Thanks for watching.

  6. Sonjé Mayo Author
    Sonjé Mayo 3 weeks ago

    Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support…… I am happy to share all that I have!

  7. ewapilates
    ewapilates 3 weeks ago

    Yet another excellent workshop from Sonje. The more she teaches us, and the longer, the more knowledge we get! It is invaluable, especially in Covid time! Never enough of HER!!!!!

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