Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Are you still walking???

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
OK, I am curious to know how many are still walking and how often, how far etc. When I started coming to the board there was a lot of talk about walking but I haven't read much lately.

1) How far along are you and from what surgery
2) How long do you walk for?
3) are you back at work?

Personally, I dont walk as much as I did about 10 weeks ago but I was given a heart rate monitor and I think I over did it, trying to get my heart rate up. Got a lot of new and painful symptoms so I have eased off the walking a bit and slowed down. (Put the HR monitor away for now)
I am nearly 7 months post 3 level L3-S1 fusion

When I do walk I generally do about 20 minutes, have a rest then another 20 minutes. Unless I go to the mall and there I amble for an hour or 2 just sitting when I need to.I do need to take a pain killer before I go walking or I wont last the distance.

I am not working yet

I would be really interested in hearing from everyone else.

Blessings Sara O:)


  • Greetings Sara, great topic BTW!!!

    1) How far along are you and from what surgery

    No surgery yet, got a partial diagnosis, but I feel that something else is adding to my pain and newfound fatigue which only began as the cold set in.I am so exhausted, yet blood sugars are well within rage at the time.

    2) How long do you walk for?

    Before this all happened, I was walking upwards of 5 miles a day, sometimes mid paced running via treadmill as well + weight lifting(more for stamina and tone).Currently, the longest walked was a mile on halloween night w/ my friends child-I payed for a week-spasms,stiffness, and left knee went out.Got a cane now and walk as strength and symptoms allow which is less than 100 yards/15 mins roughly on an average pain day.

    3) are you back at work?

    I have been on SSDI now for almost 3 years, due to my bipolar and many failed attempts at getting back into work mode.The new back issues have pretty much ruined my chances now.
  • I loved to walk and the whole spectrum of walking ability is here, is should be universal on the basis that you do get some benefit and however hard I tried my walking capability has diminished through my failed fusion, over time and distance. Walking increases my pain and for me I attempt to use a strategy that works for me and may here continue to glean some benefit from walking that I miss so much.

    I am now the loyal faithful pet dog, tied to a post awaiting my master, I sit at every given opportunity and my existence is equated by the movement from one bench to another, I have a map in my head, when and when to go and how to get from place to place. I sit and discuss bygone times with those of substantial age and smile a lot.

    After many years I am back at work part time, I used what I like to call my down time to improve my opportunities and did some voluntary work in what I had the desire to do, this developed into a job and here I am, still using my sitting and smiling strategy, that the inclusion into employment has given me back. Working was my goal, every day and those long nights, a long term strategy and plan to find adequate areas where even with limited functionality I could be included. Given the right support and help you will hopefully be back in some employment and moving forward.

    Take care and I wish you every success in your desires.


  • I did alot more in the months following my surgery and have to admit...since I am more active...I am not making the effort to walk just to walk. I do walk my dogs now..couldn't do that for quite a while. So I take two walks in the morning (two big ones go together & little guy goes alone).sometimes I walk them again in the afternoon. BUT, I keep saying, I need to take a walk..but just don't do it! I find I feel better over-all when I walk; even a short walk helps.

    I was walking up to 2 miles a day...and probably do that with the dogs, though not at all the same time. I keep forgetting my pedomoter. I have a treadmill and promise to get on it, even for a short time.

    I have been home from my special education job..aiming to go back in January. Have to admit I am concerned about that..but think I will give it a try and if I can't do it, will let the doctor know. I am no my feet and moving ALL DAY at work..so that is what i do at home now..no resting during the day except to stop and eat lunch..kinda of preparing myself for work.
  • Angelback said:
    1) How far along are you and from what surgery
    2) How long do you walk for?
    3) are you back at work?
    6 months and 7 days since surgery to implant spinal cord stimulator

    Walk the dog twice a day and average 45-70 minutes on the treadmill 2 or 3 times a week with riding the bike for a total of 3 to 6 workout days a week

    Went back to work a month after surgery only to quit two weeks later. Now do volunteer work 1 or 2 days a week in Physical Therapy Clinic.

  • Good topic! I always wonder how far others walk - I feel like such a slacker sometimes. I am 4 months post-surgery and walk roughly an hour a day broken up into 15 or 20 minute segments due to hip pain issues. Three days a week I have PT in the pool which is 50 minutes of continuous walking in the water while doing other exercises as I walk. I can walk in the water much longer than on land without discomfort. On those days I walk less on land - about 30 minutes is all I can muster the energy for.

    What I really want to be able to do for any length of time is walk on the beach. It is my favorite place to walk but it does seem harder on my hip so for right now I don't do much walking there.

    Shopping/walking at the mall seems to be the most tiring for me. Maybe it is that while shopping I do more standing than walking. But even just walking there seems more tiring. Maybe it's that the floors in malls are so very hard and thus hard on feet and legs.

    On days like today - very rainy - I try to get in my walking by walking around and around in the house. Very boring but...
  • 1) How far along are you and from what surgery?

    I am 20 months out from my 5 level 360 lumbar fusion.

    2) How long do you walk for?

    It took me 13 months to be able to walk to start my recovery. I now walk 4 miles a day, at least 5 days a week. I try to walk at a brisk pace and do the 4 miles in 70 minutes or less.

    3) are you back at work?

    I retired after my surgeries which makes it easier for me to walk and workout. If I was working, I wouldn't have the energy or the time to rehab myself.

    Lastly, walking has saved me from a life of inactivity and unbearable pain. I now realize walking will have to be a part of my life and its something I can't stop doing if I want to lead a relatively normal, active lifestyle.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • 1. How far along are you and from what surgery? I'm 5 months out from a one-level fusion.

    2) How long do you walk for? Still can't do the walking yet...my knee hasn't fully recovered from whatever is wrong with it. I tried to walk at least 15 min. twice a day right after surgery until I developed a Plantar's Wart on the bottom of one foot. That took about 6 weeks to resolve, and then the knee started acting up. There seems to be a conspiracy in my body against walking! In Feb. I will qualify for Medicare and hopefully my supplemental insurance will pay for gym membership. I can then start water-walking. (Never thought the prospect of turning 65 would look so good!)

    3) Are you back at work? Prior to surgery, I was working retail in a small women's store part-time. My paycheck usually went to pay for the items I bought! NOT going back to that. Hopefully, I can find a part-time office job soon. I've always done administrative work before.

    BTW...such a good post! Helps us learn more about each other!

  • I am 16 weeks post-op L4-5 fusion. I was walking about 2 miles a day before I went back to work a week ago. At work I walk about 10 miles in my 12 hour shift and am so exhausted once home, can't fathom anymore. I know it is going to be harder to get motivated to walk and exercise now that I am working and my PT is finished. I still go to the YMCA pool and water walk and do my exercises about twice a week. I am looking into joining "Team in Training" to keep up the walking and raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Registration is in January. I know I need a little extra motivation to keep up my walking. I have tried a treadmill and don't really like it. It makes me dizzy when I get off, even slowing down prior. So I hope to keep up the walking as it has help me loose weight among its other Spiney benefits. >:D< Cali-Sue
  • Oh, Joy! You made me laugh with your comments about your paycheck going to pay for the stuff you bought while working! That is exactly the problem I would have. Thanks for the laugh.
  • 1) How far along are you and from what surgery?
    360 Lumbar fusion at L4-L5, 2 months post op.

    2) How long do you walk for?
    Some days like,... Not at all. Other days tons. I've gone hiking, I've walked along the beach, climbed rocks at the beach, walked around the mall all day, moved furniture, ran, etc...

    3) Are you back at work?
    I don't work because of my son's Autism, it's hard to find a job during school hours right now, with the economy the way it is, and since I can't continue my profession due to the stress it puts on my back, I have to start over and find a new career. It will be a while until I figure it all out. But I have clearance to start working in December if I want. I also have clearance to start P.T.

  • I'm with you Sara, I am finding it more difficult to walk and I seem to be hitting a bit of a wall here. I walk 1.5 miles in the morning and 1.2 miles in the evening....that's down a bit and I have to push for what I'm doing, it's not as easy as it was. I wonder if this is common for the 6/7 month post op mark. I'm taking more of my pain med. that I was almost weaned from. What's up with this??
  • Sara,

    I am just over 3 months post-single level L5/S1 fusion.

    I am currently walking 2-2.5 miles per day (40-60 minutes), all on the same walk.

    I had been walking 4-6 miles per day, but had to cut back due to muscle spasms. I have kept my amount of walking down partly because I am now allowed to spend some time doing stretches and other simple exercises, and also due to the cold, snowy weather.

    I am not back to work yet, but I was unemployed for 1.5 months prior to my surgery. I could work right now if I found a telecommuting job that was flexible on hours. Sitting is still somewhat of an issue, though it seems to be getting better every week. I think I should be ready within the next month. Of course, I'm not going to do anything requiring lifting heavy weights. :)))
  • a few at a time so bear with me.
    Great to get so many replies and able to see what everyone else is up to.

    Frustrated - yes I thik it is time for a second opinion and to get things happening for you. You cant go on like that and it is up to you to start shouting!!!!!

    John- Oh you made me laugh so much =)) . I used to be exactly like you and felt like the old faithful dog just sitting and waiting. I used to measure where I went on how far and what sitting purchases were available. Driving was just as bad.
    What are they doing if anything for your failed back syndrome? Did you ahve a revision???
    So glad to hear you are in a job that suits you. I am on work cover and I suspect they will have me looking for a job soon enough. Actually I am suprised they haven't insisted already.

    dbullwinkle - It sounds as if you are doing well preparing for work. Though you are still recovering so dont be afreid to give yourself a lunch break and have a short rest.

    C - great work!!! You put the rest of us to shame!

    continued next post :))(
  • Meg - sounds like youa re doing great. And you also have a goal to get to the beach and walk so that is a double bunger.
    I actually prefer the mall to walk in if I can be there without the crowds and the running kids. I used to take my cane to start with to ward off the running kids but now I dont. A pedometer is great incentive

    Dick - OMG a 5 level fusion. You said it tool 13 months before you could start walking- is this because of the infection etc or pain. You are doing so well now!!! I hope you are proud of yourself. And yes I understand needing to retire to get better.

    Joy - you have had a run of it haven't you. Well hopefully you will be able to walk soon and also be able to get medicare so can walk in the pool. Then you will really feel the benifits.
    Does you knee hurt more when you walk or can you 'walk it out". I get pain in my ankle when I walk but if I grin and ignore it it gets better as I go.

    Sounds like you need a nice little part time job working for a home based business.

    Cali-Sue - Now you are back at work and walking sooo much throughout the day I would expect that your outside walking be less as you have replaced it with hospital corridors :))( Glad you still do the aqua and the 'team for training' sounds like a great incentive. It really does help to have a buddy walker.

    Lo- gosh, climbing on rocks, moving furniture???? I am not suprised you have days where you do no walking, you are probably recovering :))( Wouldn't you be better doing less more often? but I suppose as long as your Dr says it is OK and it suits you then why not.


  • Carol - well I think youa re doing pretty well. That is still quite a lot of steps and twice a day is more benificial. now- are you walking the same route or path as before or have you made it a bit harder. I know for me I added a small gradient and started to try to power walk which was when my back started to go downhill. Now that I am back at the old track I seem to be doing better again.

    Mark - I cant inagine having to walk in the snow on a regular basis. (on hols is one thing) but I would be so afraid of slipping :))( I can see me now with about 10 ski poles :))(
    Yes, the stretches and exercises are good also especially if it is icy outside. Good luck with finding the right job.

    So it seems like most of us have decreased our walking as we have either improved, time has passed or new pain has set in.
    Maybe we need a walking club =)) to keep us all enthused.

    Ok I am going to write an affirmation that anyone can say if you want to and lets hope it will help.

    " I love walking and I can feel it is doing me so much benefit. I can feel the circulation getting to my spine and healing it"

    If you are unable to walk, you can sit or lie down and IMAGINE walking while you say this.
    It is worth a try if you want to.

    Thanks all for your replies
    Blessings and hugs Sara O:)
  • the saddest thing about having a bung back was not been able to walk for almost two years :( and bump uglies...... :''(

    post op I heard everyone say how important it was to walk so when it rained I begged my man to take me to the mall so we could do laps for half an hour.

    Now 8 weeks post op we are in summer and we do 30-60 min and up to 5km at a time........so happy.....cant wait to ride the bike again too I use to be addicted to that.

    Any ideas of how long it takes to get back on that.....

  • That is great you are walking now. I know what is was like pre-op too. I joined a gym just so I could use the treadmill to hang on while I walked short didtances at a time.

    I was using a recumbent stationaly bike at the physios but that has stopped now. Hoping to get back to a realy gym soon.

    I know that there are a few here that have been back on a horse pretty quickly, so ask your surgeon at your next visit. a bike is a bit more bumpy then a horse though and I cant say I would want to try it just yet.
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • You stated "You said it took 13 months before you could start walking- is this because of the infection etc or pain." During those 13 months, I went to PT for 7 months and thought that was enough exercise. It wasn't. Most back pain people become inactive due to the pain long before you have surgery. For me, it was over 2 years. So, to get into shape it will take just as long. My target date is next April.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • My surgeon doesn't know I move furniture and climb rocks. The moving furniture thing, I know I shouldn't do... But when I'm home alone and no one is there to help, I guess I'm kind of one of those thick headed people that just want to get things done than wait for help.

    It would for SURE be better to do less, and do it more often. I am going to start physical therapy soon... Can't wait! I think that's going to help a lot. I have such a restricted range of motion now... But not from my fusion, from the lack of using my muscles. When I stand up straight and then bend over, I used to be able to put my palms on the floor... But once the Sciatica started almost 2 years ago.. I hadn't been doing much bending or stretching... So now when I bend over, I can just barely touch my knees. That's HORRIBLE for being 22. I am so out of shape that physical therapy is going to be the best thing ever. I am looking forward to it. I feel like a Barbie doll... Only able to bend in certain places. Lol.
  • I move furniture everyday and started to a few weeks ago....my signif other was gutted that it didnt last long my inabilities to do that.....he recons he is going to glue the stuff down in our own house. lol I want a house where I can move the walls when I want to rearrange everything wouldnt that be cool.
  • went off at me for moving pot plants! And I was doing that using a rope to tie around them and drag.
    They both said that even pulling something like that can put a lot of strain on your back and is equivilent to lifting.
    So now i have learned to be patient and ask for help when visitors are over. Until then I live with it and move only small things.

    Lo, I used to be like you, I could put my hands flat on the floor BEHIND my heels until I injured my back. Now I can barely reach my knees. but that is better then before surgery.

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • 1) How far along are you and from what surgery
    L5-S1 PLIF, 15 weeks post op

    2) How long do you walk for?
    The week after surgery I was doing 1 mile a day, then 2 miles at about 3 miles at 4 weeks. After my fall down the steps at 6 weeks and my husbands choking incident the next week (I had to pull him up off the floor and give him the heimlich) my walking has decreased dramatically due to pain. Lately, I am lucky if I can get to the end of the block and back.

    3) are you back at work?
    Not yet, considering taking the rest of the school year off. Can I retire at 34?? I went to a craft show on Saturday and lasted about 4 hours (sitting, standing and laying in the car). Driving home I was in tears.
  • This makes me feel dreadful!

    How post op - I am 9 weeks revision PLIF and 9 months PLIF and 20 months PLIF

    Walking - hmmm, yeah, about 400 yards due to reactive pain and spasm. Still use cane due to numbness and weakness in leg / foot and stumbling. I do try every day, it doesn't always work out to be a good idea!!
    Still restricted to flat surfaces with no obstacles!
    (Swimming much better except for dressing / undressing routine)

    Work? - Not at least until I can get through a day doing normal suff without flaring up my irriated nerves.

    My first surgery I was up to 4 miles a day and fely great!
    I guess I have been unlucky but I am happy - It could have been worse.
  • Shell - you must tell the Dr when you see him on Wednesday how you have had to decrease your walking. I am sorry for you about that but at east you are still walking.

    Itsalongwalk - Dont feel dreadful as we are all so different and you have been through so mauh more then many of us.Again, 400 metres many times a day may even be better then 4 miles once a day. Would using a walker with wheels be better for you when walking? At least you could lean on something if you need to stop.
    Sounds like walking in water could be a better bet for you until you improve.
    Blessigns Sara O:)
Sign In or Register to comment.