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how much is too much?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
It seems like a lot of doctors say not to do too much. What exactly is too much after surgery? I am 8 months post-op from a laminectomy (L5-S1). No matter what I do, whether I keep my back straight or not, whether I use a back support to sit or not, I always feel pain when I move. The minute I get up to shower, the pain slowly goes into my leg. Supposedly I don't have a herniated disc, but each and every squat, lift, reach, makes the pain a little worse. Does anyone know if scar tissue can cause this much problem? Even the exercises in p.t. that are supposed to help make the pain shoot down the leg. I just think it's odd that each and every little movement makes the pain gradually get worse throughout the day. Shouldn't I be able to do some lifting (20 lbs or so) by now? Shouldn't I be able to squat as long as my back is as straight as I can get it? Shouldn't I be able to sit on a chair as long as I keep my back straight? This has me puzzled. After my first surgery, I was able to do so much more.



  • my surgeon told me that I am supposed to act as if I am still in the pain that I was right after surgery and I am not supposed to do anymore than I was able to do then until I am fused. HA HA HA. Ya Right.

    But then he allowed me to go back to work.

    So that is a good question.

    He says that too much is more than I was able to do back then...umm...then how am I supposed to work. So I do too much!!!!and then on Sunday's I rest and then do it all over again the next week.
  • That sounds similar to what I do. Rest when I can, and then do it all over again. Why have surgery if it isn't going to make things any better? It's like most of us have caused ourselves more grief by trying to get better. I was never told (before my first surgery or my second) that I would probably get more problems from the surgery than without. I wish someone would've told me this.

  • If you have had an MRI that says all structurally is OK then maybe it is the muscles that are pinching the nerves and causing the pain. I am only guessing here as I know the nerves run between the muscles and if the muscles are too tight it can compress the nerves.

    Have you tried massage to your glute muscles? Also have you tried a heat pack to have at your back when you are sitting?

    Yes, scar tissue can cause all sorts of problems but if you haven't tried massage and heat I would give it a go.

    Blessings Sara
  • I've tried heat, but it seems to make things worse. Ice is okay, but temporary of course. Something did show up on my MRI, but my doctor and radiologist who wrote the report seemed to shrug it off. The report said epidural fibrosis and my doc said everything looks great. Personally, I want the fibrosis gone. It's weird, but whenever I use any of my muscles in my back (whether I keep my back straight, arched or whatever), the pain shoots. I've tried to do exercises that actually help with strengthening and putting a disc back into place, but the same thing happens. That's why I believe that it's scar tissue. I wouldn't be surprised if my S1 nerve root is attached to a muscle by scarring. That would make sense as to why it hurts to walk, bend, squat, everything. I just hope my doctor wants to still wrap my nerve like he said. That's my little bit of hope I have left. He said he'd try it, so I hope he doesn't change his mind. I would have to wait until June (he said in 6 months if nothing gets better).

    I read all the information on your back and I'm amazed at how much you've been through. And it sounds like you're so positive. You must be a very strong person! :)

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,848
    When it comes to providing an answer for this one, here is where ONLY your doctor can give you the details.
    ANYTHING you receive here is only going to be based on one person's personal experience and objective.
    When it comes to doing the right thing and NOT too much, you have to rely on your doctor.
    This is way to critical an area to even attempt to give a Spine-Health member's try.
    Talk to your doctor!
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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