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safe gym work / exercise to tone after L5S1 discetomy

tigerlillyttigerlilly Posts: 26
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Exercise and Rehab
Hi all,
Any safe advice for someone after L5 S1 discetomy. Want to get back to toning up in a few weeks time, since im now getting better form a disc bulge on same disc. I never recieved any guidance from physio last year at the hospital and was left to get on with it more or less. Im seeing a private physio now which is really expensive, she has told me to be gentle but hasnt shown me any exercises to do as yet.It will cost a fortune by the time she decides to show me core exercise etc.
So anyone have advice for gentle core work to do now, and in a few weeks time gentle leg and bum exercise to tone up for the summer. Im really happy things seem to improving and thank the heavens above! but do want to adopt a longterm exercise plan within safe guidelines etc.
thanks in advance


  • My PM actually said he tells his Discectomy patients to go full out a few weeks after surgery, but since I have no experience with this, don't listen to my PM :p Good luck finding a suitable workout... I can't wait for the day my surgeon says "you're fused".
  • Sorry to here about your problem. I had a laminectomy of L5 S1 almost 5 wks. ago. Like you there has been very little guidence for me. My neuro. said I don't need pt. They said I can stretch if I can tollerate it. I'm glad to here I'm not alone with this problem. It's to bad there isn't a hand book for us. I just started back to work the past two days. I hurt but my docs say that is normal. I just don't want to mess up the progress I have made. I to would like more advice on what kinds of weights and exercises. I'm sorry I don't have any answers for you keep your head up, and try not to get to frustrated. Take care.
  • Hi,
    is a laminectomy when they make rooom for the nerve?
    yes a handbook would be great. Are u in the USA. A handbook though would have to be so accurate.Just take it easy Good luck and take care.
  • hi tigerlily, yes a laminectomy is when a piece of the vertebra is removed in order to gain access to and remove the disk material that has herniated and is pressing on the nerve. I also wish for a handbook! it seems like everyone just says "if it hurts, don't do it". but what about if you don't want it to hurt? it's very frustrating!!!
  • I had a L5 S1 Microdiscectomy a year ago, June 2008.

    Post surgery, I followed the doctors orders - no bending, twisting, turning, no lifting more than 5 lbs for 6 weeeks. I walked everyday.

    About 8 weeks out, I started doing PT exercises. I was given the basics. I was eeking more.

    About 12 weeks out, I was looking for something more advanced so I contacted a PT clinic. I found a PT person who gave me significantly harder core exercises to do. I was searching for a PT person who would give exercises targeted for Golf strengthing, I purchased an exercise ball and elastic stretch band. I use everyday still

    I met with her once a week from Oct to Dec. Each week, she gave me additional core and tougher exercises. I would do them daily. I continued walking daily.

    In Jan 2009, I reached out to a certified top trainer at my local health club. He put me back on strength training routine. No free weights building the lower back, hamstrings, glutes, core muscles etc.

    I go to the club 3 days a week and go through this extensive exercise program.

    To this day, every morning, I stretch and do core exercises (roughly 30 to 45 minutes) followed by a walk or bike ride for 30 minutes.

    I would strongly encourage following PT guidance and or Certified Trainer. Make sure they understand your situation. We all have different needs. I would make sure the program is customized to you.

    Google core exercises - lot of them have visual pictures and or videos to watch. When I bought the exercise ball, inside the box, was like 30 visuals of exercises with the ball.. The brand name was Go Fit. I have it posted on my wall in my office.

    I am a big believer in doing core exercises, stretching daily and walking. I will now do the rest of my life.

    I am able to play golf again with no side effects. My flexibility, rotation, and stength is the best it has ever been. I am hitting the golf farther than before surgery,

    It has been a long journey and many hours of hard work.

    Best of luck in your recovery. Keep the faith and never give up.
  • thanks for the advice golfer guy. my surgeon did not prescribe pt after my surgery so i felt like i had no direction in terms of safe exercises. did you pay for pt and the trainer out of pocket? were they terribly expensive? i'm' two years out from a L4L5 laminectomy and i stretch almost everyday but i'm always looking for ways to increase my strength and flexibility. thanks
  • Both my PT clinics were covered under my health insurance plan. I paid a small out of pocket co-pay. Both PT clinics provided hard copies of the exercises which I was able to take home and keep.

    I asked my surgeon for a referral to both places and he was gracious and supportive of PT.

    At my local health club, I had to pay for the certified trainer. He charged an hourly rate. I could pick the number of sessions I wanted etc.

    The PT's and certified trainer were aware of my surgery and customized exercises to my needs without putting stress on the low back.

    I would encourage you to google "core exercises" and I am sure a ton of links or sites will pop up. Some will have pictures, while others might have videos showing how to do the exercise.

    I purchased a Go Fit Stability Ball at Dick's sporting goods store. Inside the box, there were 30 core exercises. You can do at home on your own.

    I know on Spine Health they provide some ideas under exercise.

    The Mayo clinic has some ideas on their site. I think you pick back pain and then search under prevention. I saw a link for core exercises there.

    I receive a subscription from my health club about preventative health. They show various core exercises there.

    I even purchased Golf Fitness magazine, this comes out every other month, and they have given recommendations on core exercises too.

    Best of luck to you finding the right core exercises for yourself.
  • Hello Everyone!

    I'm a new user and I not very sure if i'm doing this correctly. I just want to ask if somebody could help me. I had a laminectomy last October 7,2008 dissecting L5S1. Since then I limit myself from doing any exercises that could possibly jeopardize my back. But lately I've noticed that my tummy is getting bigger. My ortho advised me before not to gain too much weight because it would add burden on my back. I never had a therapy after my surgery so i'm not equip with knowledge on what exercises to perform. Can anybody give me advice on what exercise appropriate for me specially exercises that targets my abs that wont hurt my back?
    thank you!

  • The best thing to do would be to have your doc give you a referral to Physical Therapy. They can advise you on what would be best based on your surgery and your conditioning.

    Welcome to Spine Health.

  • How I miss it, live near the Open played off 11, still have all my clubs.

    Keep a six off your card.

    Any activity is good.

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