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Body De-condition and the eventually Condition

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,837
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Chronic Pain
Over the past year, it seemed that every time I thought I was moving ahead and gaining a step, something happened to push me back and lose a step. It was starting to get discouraging, it just seemed like I was never going to get out of this mess.
I had a long discussions about this with my doctor and her explanation made alot of sense.

- I have had years and years of body de-condition because of the multiple surgeries and various setbacks and other problems.

- Because of that, I have not allowed my body to really regroup and get back to a healthy condition.

- While I am in this state, I am prone to many different problems. I have witnessed that myself with various ankle problems, stretched ACL in the knee, countless muscle related problems, etc

She told me that as long as my body is in this de-condition state, I am wide open to many different problems. And until I can get my body back to being conditioned, she aaid dont be surprised about any new setbacks.

Its like a vicious cycle. So for me to regain much of myself I have to work hard to NOT have any more setbacks, but yet because of the state of my body, those setbacks are more than likely to happen

She tells me not to worry and also that while I am feeling good, NEVER to push too much to regain that condition, because there is a sure way to de-condition yourself.

I am at a loss on really how to do this.. My doctor also does not have the answer, all she told me is to keep on trying and done stop.

Believe me, I wont stop, but I need to find ways to avoid additional setbacks.

Let the games begin!
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


  • As I have said before just don't over do yourself. I have learned my limits and am one of those that use to have to do it myself, pretty picky bout how things I want done, and done my way. But I now know my limits and not ashamed to ask for and except help from others... Like the lifting a gallon of milk... I just don't do it, I ask someone else to.
    And I just don't over do myself no more..... Nothing is more important than my safety.

  • Thanks for that information. I too, sufferd set back after set back over the years.
    Now I am working on building my body back up again in physical therapy especially my leg muscles. I have only had 2 sessions and it is already helping.

    Oh Ron, I prey nothing sets me back again.

    I am not saying PT is the answer for anyone else but it seems to be working for me and my problems.

    We can only keep on trying can't we?

    Best of luck to everyone. >:D<
    Patsy W

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,837
    I've been going to a therapeutic pool 3x a week now for over two years. It has definitely helped, and it is one thing that prevents me from sliding downhill.
    I live up in the North East in CT, near Danbury, which is about 75 miles NorthEast of NYC.

    I have always found you to be a very interesting person and who knows some day our paths will cross...
    And I would enjoy that
    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
  • I wish you luck!!! I just had to stop seeing my physical trainer, it was just too much for me at this point. I think she was a little put off, and said that she didn't think I should stop doing physcial activity. It kind of made me a little mad, as if I'm not doing anything!!! I still walk as much as I can, and do my stretches every morning, but the program she had me doing, even after modifying it several times, left me in so much pain for days after, and I end up missing work becuase of it. So, I figure, give myself a little more time, then have another go in a couple of months. I guess patience is a virtue, and we must all take baby steps to get back on track, but that really is a hard pill to take isn't it??!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,837
    Many of you know that I am a firm believer in Physical Therapy, but I also know its boundaries and limits.
    What I have said in the past, is that most therapists are in great shape, so when they start working with us, after a while, they become like drill sergeants and want you to do more and more... No pain no gain!!!

    Well that may work for people without any medical conditions, but it is NOT the correct course to take for spinal patients.

    You did just fine, listen to your own body, know what is right and what should not be done. You are doing your own set of exercises, so that is so very important.
    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
  • You don't know how much your words mean to me. She made me feel like such a failure, even though I know it was doing me more harm than good at this point in time. I do have the support of my boyfriend, mom and my boss (who has been a friend of mine for a few years) on this, too, as they are the people who see me after going to the gym, and saw how I felt. It's amazing how the comments of one person can undo all that in one comment, so I'm grateful for the support that I have received on this, thanks, again!!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Ron, we're traveling along kinda parallel paths in this area. I'm finally "stable" medically (fusion set, SCS scarred in, etc.) and all I'm really working on is getting my body reconditioned, which means losing a lot of weight and building a lot of muscle in my situation.

    My Dr. limited me to water-based exercise and walking for the last year plus, but just recently he agreed to let me add a recumbent bicycle to my workouts. First, I tried the one at the rehab center where I swim and it was miserable. I ended up trialing about 15 different bikes before I actually found one that "fit" me and supported all the parts I need supported. Interestingly enough, it was a "cheap" one at $240, not the $999 model with a space shuttle style control panel!

    That's been a very good step up for me. It definitely gets my heart rate up, but is low impact enough to keep the rest of my body from totally revolting against it. Although, when I started out, it was right in the center of Wuss-ville :))( and my body declared that I was totally done after about 5 minutes. That sort of thing certainly doesn't boost the ol' confidence level... L) but I think that's a whole different topic. ;)
  • Ron you got it right. It's all about being in tune with your body. It will tell you when you've done enough. Lately I'm finding my body is much more "vocal" when it's time to stop. I find that I reach a point where I'm just "done" and I know it's time to be done. My wife even knows when I'm "done" and asks me if I'm there yet even before I realize it sometimes. If I continue past that point I pay for it the next day. If not then I am fine the next day. I wasn't the best at slowing down or stopping when I should have, that is changing.
  • B) I'm still working with my massage therapist to try and correct my muscle imbalances. She has me doing simple floor excercises at home to engage my inner corset so as to support my lower back. :D

    As you know, I'm a gardener, so I get some air and sunshine working out in the yard. I take my dog to the dog park and walk around the paved walkway with my little girl in tow -- we're excercise buddies (LOL)! :)

    I'm feeling well enough now to start walking again. I need to drop 15 pounds I've gained in the last few months -UGH!- so I have incentive.

    As one who didn't have surgery, it has taken over a year to start to heal -- I don't know that I'm out of the woods yet, but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Setbacks are part of this whole process -- it takes two to "tango" and in this duet it's you and your body -- when your body doesn't like something you're doing or needs more rest -- it lets you know. With practice and patience, the dance becomes effortless and fluid.

    Take care my spineys!

  • Remember; set backs are not failures; they are building blocks, stepping stones if you may. Please don’t compare what was to what is, I think of life as: a climb to the top of Mount Everest. Always clawing a head, (surviving the day) sometimes tripping and falling taking steps back wards. Always keeping in mind the final objective getting to the top, getting through the spasm (in my case),the day what ever. There are things in life we can not change. How every that does not stop us from learning new ways to over come these set backs. I think an action plan is in order with goals and rewards..
    Keep smiling,
  • I think all of us have periods of relative calm, then we hit something. I had been fine for about 20 months, except for insane pain, I had not injured myself for quite awhile. Then the morning of July 8 and my back nerves fired wrong as I got up in bed, Pain goes to an eight and I am wondering if I can work. I'm the Boss and I needed to show,so - dosed me with meds and got to work.

    3 hours later-I was in to see my NEW PT. Well it was a grand intro, because he saw me in a 1 in a 100 days. As we went through history. I explained that I was there fot a "tune-up". Make sure I was still doing my exercises correctly. What ones to add to my daily regimen. A little sorting out of how I did injure myself, with apparently no cause. No slip, fall, weight, just raising myself from the bed. LOL - what a way to hurt yourself.

    I got 3 old exercises, that were my usual, and one new one that I had never hear of in all my years. With that- I began again to work on myself every day, as much as I could stand. Emotionally I was wondering why this had happened to me again, but I was very inquisitive to figure out what happened. As I went back in my mind, meditating through the actions of that morning, I remembered a feeling, electric, just before the pain started. I realized that it was a spasm, in my deep core muscles, that started tis pain cycle, and this is why it hurt like heck. Point of this ramble - is that without this introspection, I don' think I would have been aware of it, and maybe looking to modify things, the next time I feel this kind of action.

    I went to PT every week for 4 weeks and kept going at home every day. At 5-6 weeks - I decided with my PT advice to save the rest of my sessions for later- in case of another flare-up and to come back in 3 months and get another "tune-up" again.

    Over the month of Aug- till now - I have been taking it real slow, but this last 2 weeks the recumbant bike is back in training again. I am walking more, and stretching and my office exercises are getting done 2 to 5 times per day.

    How do I feel - well---Today - and for the last few days - I feel the wind in my sails and my head is planning my continued increase in exercise and back to getting stronger again.

    I did not expect the set-back either, but it happened. Now I know how my back screws up. I happened to be -"IN the Moment" as the issue occured, so I now understand it. With some luck, I can train it out of myself and continue to heal.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,837
    Many times while I was coaching either boys or girls sports, I would tell them about this:

    There is a mountain in front of you. You know that you need to reach the top. So you start off climbing 3 steps, but then you slip and lose 1 step. At that point its up to you to decide to continue climbing that mountain or giving up. Those that give up will always be towards the bottom half.
    But those that continue, no matter what are going to succeed. Even if that means after climbing 7 steps to that 10 step mountain and slipping back to step 5, you brush yourself of and continue uphill.
    I guarantee that anyone who will not give up will reach the top.
    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
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    That's what my pm. Dr. says. And with that I can't tell you there is any rhyme or reason for your setbacks and pain spikes. What you could get away doing yesterday you can't do today. But might be able to do tomorrow. I suppose the most frustrating for me is I'll be going along pretty good for quite awhile ,then bam! and I don't even know what I did to hurt myself.
    The one thing that I can most always do is walking or hiking. where I live it's up and down hills. And if I can do that every day for 50 min. it gets my heart rate up and burns enough calories to stay in fair shape. And most of the time doesn't hurt.
    So I guess we just keep trying.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • ron
    while sitting on my keaster this summer, i noticed all sorts of muscle pains and pulls, ie hamstring pain, foot pain, leg pain and swelling. once school started and i started getting more exercise, walking more and longer distances, i noticed my pain in legs feet etc got less. i guess by doing some exercise that we can do, it will help our other problems. sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves won't help other pain and worse our psyche. i still have major walking problems, but not as bad as when i veggied out.
    good luck
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Reminds me what I heard the other day watching Kennedy's funeral the other day when his son was talking about when he was young (the son)and had a leg amputated and his dad took him to climb a hill(I think in the snow where kids were sledding????) and he fell and started crying and said daddy I can't do this, his dad reassured him and took his hand and told him he could do it and he was not alone and"would"make it up that hill no matter how long it took even if it took all day to get there.
    Brought tears to my eyes.
    Sometimes we just need that extra support and a hand to hold to not feel alone to accomplish what seems like the impossible.
  • Ron,
    I am relatively new to this site-but have received so much help and for the first time since my last surgery-I am accepting that all of our different conditions are part of who we are. The pendulum swings back and forth a lot,but I think every segment of life has it's own swinging pendulum.I know you have your own internal answers.I read your posts.I send some of the stuff you say to others who are struggling with any aspect of life.I too-have just recovered from a setback-and am going to go back to PT.I do have to be careful about using a PT that does not know me as they can be too aggressive.That is one positive about my many surgeries-I have a therapist who knows me and has been trying to get me to slow down and follow directions for years.So I will try again-with a little more acceptance of who I am-and know that a lot of the way I feel day to day is up to me.Sometimes I wonder if I overdo things on purpose just to see if anything has changed- simple answers-walk more-don't walk your dog etc.Almost seem too simple.I quess it is ego and sense of self-importance that wants answers to be so complicated.We all have different histories but our similier personalities makes this site a special place indeed.Thanks everyone for all the thought provoking topics.
  • My doctor called me last week out of the blue to go over my pain med schedule and how I was doing and stuff. At the end of the call she asks "so, how's your weight?". Ugh! I hate that.

    I yo-yo. Always have. Had pain in my back skinny or pudgy. But, now in pudgy-mode, I have kinda noticed my knees hurting a bit now & then and I'm sure it's the extra weight.

    The doctor asking me about it made me feel bad. So this morning coming into the office I decided for the first time to take the steps up to the 4th floor. Unfortunately, a doctor who works in my building came up right after me and for some stupid reason, I felt like a needed to prove to this stranger how nimble I am. I tackled those flights of stairs like a young kid totally in shape and practically ran them. Once I got out on my floor - I thought I was going to die, lol!

    Tomorrow I'll swallow my pride and walk up those like a person my age with aches and pains no matter who's walking up behind me. ;)

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