Spondy Bag Protocols

The Spondy/Retro Bag Protocols

This heavy duty weight bag is a highly effective tool for those practicing this unique, life changing technique. This product and technique helps both Spondylolisthesis and Retrolisthesis of L5 on S1, developed by the late, great Dr. Burl Pettibon.  No longer do you have to go down to the local gun shop to pick up a 25 pound bag of leaded bird shot.  This sturdy canvas bag, with easy to lift handles, is filled with 25 pounds of non-toxic carbon steel pellets, and perfectly suited for corrections done in the office and at home for patients.

Directions for both:

  • Spondylolisthesis of L5 on S1: This procedure can correct up to a Grade 2 spondylolisthesis.
  • Retrolisthesis of L5 on S1 (Confirmed with seated lateral lumbar x-ray, revealing ligament injury and instability):

1.  Have patient lie supine, on a firm surface, with knees bent.

2. Place a sacral block, a foam wedge or SOT block, under the sacrum, caudal to cephalic direction, with leading edge to the  level of the sacral base( lifting sacral apex up, sacral base down) , allowing L5 to freely move. 

3. Place the 25 lb. bag directly above level of L5 on the abdomen, below umbilicus (start with 25 lbs. and build up to 75 lbs. or 3 bags for larger patients and or difficult spondy’s) Instruct patient to allow weight to slowly flatten lumbar spine to the table surface. Start with 2 minutes and build up to 20 minutes.

4. In office: perform  following your spinal adjustment procedure, from 2- 5 minutes.  Encourage home care so you can increase time up to 20 minutes daily.  It takes 90-120 days for the sacral base to align with the vertebral body of L5.

After procedure, as the patient returns upright under gravity,  the spine re-aligns and” ligamentous creep” caused by the blocking will stabilize the spine longer with each application.

For further comprehensive instruction go to www.pettibonsystem.com , online courses available.


Contributed by Dr. David Melendez DC, Pettibon practioner