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How much is too much?

lilmamallilmama Posts: 61
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I just had a laminectomy/discectomy 3 days ago and I'm walking around, trying to do a few things around the house, but nothing strenuous. I did try to vacuum and it started to hurt my back so I quickly stopped. I'm wondering if this is too much activity to be doing? What were you like post op? Were you able to move around and do things as long as you followed the BLT orders? I'm just so anxious to get my life back on track.


  • Vacuuming is just about the hardest thing on your back...no wonder you were hurting afterward. You need to develop some patience and give your body a chance to heal.

    My most recent surgeon said the worst problem he had was with people who did too much after a discectomy. After weeks or months of being in pain and having activities restricted by pain, they wake up from surgery and feel so good that they want to do everything all at once...and, inevitably overdo it and end up back on the operating table. This will be you, too, if you don't back off and give your body a chance to heal.

    In addition to avoiding any and all activities that involve bending, or twisting, pushing, pulling, and reaching overhead or to the side are just as bad for your spine. AVOID THEM for several months until you are completely healed, INSIDE and out.

    What you may do now is walk and rest, walk and rest. Do not sit for more than about 15 minutes at a time. Also drive or ride in a car as little as possible at the beginning. The vibrations from the road, and the motion controlled by the car turning and braking cause the back muscles to "guard" the injured area, which will result in spasms and inflammation. If you overdo it, inflammation can cause you to keep from healing properly, and you'll be right back where you started, prior to surgery.

    Give yourself permission to take it easy!!
  • You definitely need to give your body more time than 3 days! All of the heavy housework can wait or have someone else do it for you. Agree with Gwennie's post above. I had a fusion done which is more difficult to recover from, but back surgery is back surgery and you need to heal more.

    Take care and best wishes to you,

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    BLT is only the one set of restrictions.
    Doing too much too fast, too soon is probably the quickest way to getting back on the operating table for another surgery!

    Rest, take it easy, your body needs time to heal and your spine needs time. When the time is right to restart some of your activities, before you jump into them, check with your doctor first!
    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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