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Another (Dumb?) Question About SCS

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Pain Management
I am wondering if you have the scs and it works well, you still have to limit your activities, don't you? It would seem to me that if the scs is covering your pain well you would still need to limit your activity, I mean you wouldn't want to run out and join an aerobics class or do anything really strenuous - would you? It seems to me that if you were to do something really strenuous that you would run the risk of damaging yourself further, wouldn't you?


  • The risk of damaging something is going to come with normal or increased activity. It's something that each individual has to figure out for themselves.

    I have returned to diving and shooting film and working out in the gym. I have to avoid certain exercises that pull on my extension wires or press on my generator. I can't do all the Yoga moves that I used to, but can still do quite a bit. I do anything I want to around the house including crawling into the cupboards to straighten things out that have been neglected for a long time.

    I have yanked on my extension wires and discovered what my limitations are over several months. Basically when I get up in the morning, I don't think of what I can or can't do anymore, I just think of what I need to get done and do it. I have even been able to crawl under the dash of my car and fix my radio.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is that the SCS provides me with the chance to live again and not be a doll in a china cabinet.

    My doc has told me of patients that have returned to running and swimming. I carry around a bunch of scuba and camera equipment and don't think twice. The reason to have an SCS in my book, is so that a person can go back to living. So as Nike says "Just Do It!"

  • I'm still in the "careful" stage because my permanent leads have not scarred down fully yet. I plan to wait the full 6 weeks. They say it can take 4 to 6 weeks. I won't take any chances, so 6 weeks it is.

    But just this afternoon, I went driving by myself. I have my SCS turned down on my "sleep" setting and have never taken the time to turn it up today. So, off I went, over an hour driving. I didn't even stop to walk, go to the bathroom, or anything. Just an afternoon drive like I used to love to do. But since this nerve business, no more car rides unless absolutely necessary. Guaranteed nerve trigger/flare.

    I'm excited thinking about what all I will be able to do in a few weeks. Already, everything I'm doing is so surprising. But most of all - to get done/come home and realize - hey, I'm not in pain!! I'm not in a pain flare!! That is the number one most amazing thing.

    Cheri, who got her permanent SCS almost 4 weeks ago.
  • For me, picking and choosing my activities has been less about limitations because of the SCS and more about the fact that my body was/is so debilitated after spending a few years bedridden. I had/have a lot of muscle wasting and overall deconditioning, so I choose not to participate in certain activities because I know I'm not strong enough to be safe. The stronger I get, the more activities I return to and eventually, I will be doing everything I was doing before all this started - including running my sled dogs! :D

    My SCS controls my pain, which allows me to exercise, get stronger, and get my life back in order, so I am mindful of the things I choose to do. I would never do anything thoughtless that would jeopardize my SCS, because it's too important to me; in that same vain, I also avoid doing thoughtless things that jeopardize the overall health my spine. I don't view that mindfulness as a limitation - in fact, if I had learned that lesson before the SCS, maybe I wouldn't have had some of the problems I've had. ;))

  • Yes!!!! I can so relate!! I knew my body was in pitiful condition from all the reclining and inactivity and I get out of breath walking up the stairs in a movie theater! (Hubby loves those movies). But I know with time, I will get stronger and stronger. I can't wait for the warmer weather to get here and I'll be in that pool like you've never seen!! It was so helpful last summer and I had horrible pain otherwise. Can't wait!!

  • I have found that there are things that I am less able to do as I am concerned about dislodging the leads (too precious to me), but I have been back swimming & walking the dog without suffering a flare so it is great......

    I have been told to change my job as it involved repetative bending (which caused me all sorts of problems pre SCS) but that is a good thing as I was struggling anyway - it the leads do move at least it will have been doing something I have chosen to do NOT through work!!!

    I have also been able to reduce the narcotics which is great - feels like I have been asleep for 2 years, I feel much more energetic. I am waiting for PT so I can get my muscles working properly.

    Good Luck if you decide to go ahead
  • How long have you had your SCS? Which brand do you have? I am also hoping to decrease my LA meds, but for now, am way down on breakthroughs and muscle relaxers. Yeah!!

    Thanks so much for sharing!!

  • Hi Cheri

    I have an Advanced Bionics rechargeable & have had it for 10weeks - I love it, (some problems with charging but that can be sorted). I have two paddles leads at T10/T11 & have it for chronic neuropathic pain in my legs that no-one really knows what triggered it! I showed nothing on MRI apart from dehydrated discs & went down the injection routes, but never had surgery.

    I have reduced my opitates quite alot - I haven't got off them but I am hoping to if at all possible. I have found that as I have reduced them, I have had an increase in pain for a couple of days & then it has eased, so I am doing it slowly.

    I have found the chat & advice here really interesting & people seem really friendly.

    Look forward to hearing how things go for you.

  • hello
    1st no question is ever dumb...in fact that's a great question. I agree w/everyone and just wanted to add something my doc also noted that sometimes restrictions depend on your physique. If your 5'0 and 100lbs and maybe alittle older he also considers stuff like that and the type of lead placed all may be factors but nothing major. I'm not allowed to lift over a certain weight but I think that also has to do w/other spinal issues. So everyone is different obviously.

    I was all worried about restrictions but honestly after the trial it didn't matter. I have the permanent placed now and am 3 dys post revision but I couldn't do anything before the implant and now if I can do something it's all good. No more rigorous activity but generally it sounds like I just have to be smart and should be diving off the board by June!!!No more just floating for me ;)
    take care
  • I agree. My doc told me that I should not ride a bike, roller blade or rollerskate, nor should I horseback ride again. All activities I used to enjoy. I was told not to do them only because of the chance of falling and messing up the leads or potentially pulling them out. That was enough for me not to return to those activities, now I just observe.

    In my 2.5 years, I have been able to return to alot of other lost activities like swimming, gardening, playing catch with my daughter, and just enjoying walking again. I have had to learn to do a few things different like bending at the knees instead of bending with my back to prevent pull (better on the body anyway).

    You have to figure out what you can and cannot do comfortably, but you will realize that the better you feel, the more you will want to do. It's a great feeling to realize you can enjoy life again.
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