I have a lumbar spine problem called spondylolisthesis. Is it safe to do aerobic exercise with this condition
Yes but your doctor will need to clear you for this kind of activity. About 85 percent of adults with spondylolisthesis are treated with physiotherapy including exercise -- both specific exercises and aerobic exercise.
Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one lumbar vertebra breaks loose from the spinal column and starts moving or slipping forward. X-rays are used to grade spondylolisthesis from one to four (mild to severe). The grades are based on how far forward the vertebra has moved.
If you have a mild to moderate case, then conservative care is advised. This can include steroid injections, physiotherapy, and homeopathic remedies.
The therapist will teach you how to use your core muscles to stabilize the spine. You can do this during standing, activities, and exercise. The goal is to strengthen the muscles around the spine to help hold the spine in place. This is called spinal stabilization. Another newer term for this is core training. The effect is to "stiffen" the spine and keep it from slipping and sliding.
Once you've mastered the idea of spinal stability, then the next step is to start aerobic exercise. You’ll have to keep the spine in good alignment at the same time you’re doing the aerobics. Any change in your symptoms or increase in pain, numbness, or weakness should be reported to your physician. Further examination may be needed before continuing or resuming exercise.
Brady T. Vilbert, MD, et al. Treatment of Instability and Spondylolisthesis. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. February 2006. No. 443. Pp. 222-227.