Spondylolisthesis, spondylosis, spondylitis and ankylosing spondylitis are spine-related conditions. Symptoms are similar across conditions yet causes vary.



With spondylolisthesis, a vertebra slips forward over the vertebra below, squashing the nerve.

In adults, main causes are arthritis, osteoporosis, bone fractures or a sudden spine injury or trauma. In children, spondylolisthesis is usually caused by a birth abnormality or an injury to the lower back.

Symptoms may include:

  • buttock or thigh numbness
  • buttock or thigh tingling
  • leg weakness
  • leg stiffness
  • lower back pain
  • muscle tightness


Spondylosis is a common age-related condition that affects joints and discs in the neck and back. It is also known as spinal arthritis.


Spondylitis refers to inflammation of the vertebra.

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory arthritis (auto-immune) condition that mainly affects the spine. In people with AS, the immune system attacks healthy tissue in and around joints, causing inflammation and pain.

The joints of the neck, back and pelvis become inflamed. It commonly affects the sacroiliac joints – those that connect the base of the spine to the pelvis. Other joints, such as the hips and shoulders, and other areas of the body such as the eyes, skin, bowel and lungs, can also be affected.

AS is more common in men, and usually begins between the ages of 15 and 45, with symptoms varying between people. Symptoms may change from day to day and can become more intense.

Symptoms may include:

  • pain and stiffness in the neck, back, or buttocks
  • pain in tendons (which connect muscles to bones)
  • pain in ligaments (which connect bones to each other) – often felt as pain at the front of the chest, back of the heel or underneath the foot
  • fatigue
  • symptoms worsen after rest (in the early morning)
  • symptoms relieved with exercise
If you experience concerning symptoms, chat with our reception staff to make an appointment with one of our experienced therapists.

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