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gethealthyggethealthy Posts: 303
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
:-C I'm almost 5 months post op after my 3 level ACDF. I'm starting to feel like a human.

I'm working with an osteo PT and she is doing wonders for me. Most of my pain was from having such a weak neck after surgery. I had a very strong neck before surgery but once they sliced my neck all strength went to pot!

I am working so hard at strengthening all the muscles I lost from this surgery it's a full day's effort and it's slow but it IS paying off ten fold!

The pain I had before the surgery is not present. The pain I've had has been from the surgery and from weak muscles. I am sooo glad I had this surgery done. I've learned a ton about how to line my bones up by proper posture, how to do daily tasks and how to sleep without hurting my spine.

I do a lot of reading and working with my PT. I ask her tons of questions and am coming up with a plan that is going to make my life livable.

There is hope! Hang in and keep trying to learn during your recovery my friends.


  • I remember some of your earlier posts, and especially (as they helped me in the PT dept.) your issues with what they were doing to your neck! May good Karma continue in your spiney recovery book! Happy Holidays to you and yours!!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • This is great news! I bet all the learning will come through in your next fitness videos too (if you plan on making more that is :) )

    Keep it up!
  • I'm not sure if I will do more DVDs. It's pretty hard on me to do them. When I'm totally healed I may change my mind and go for it.

    I will be able to push the ones I have. They really are great workouts. Thank goodness I was sure to do low impact and high impact on all of them. I'll never be doing high impact again.

    I'll probably do another strength training one if I am brave enough to try again. I'm learning so much about the best ways to build the core body. So much has been discovered lately about that subject. The old crunches are a thing of the past from what I'm learning. Focus on the transverse abdomonis is what is thought to provide the best support for the spine.

    Thanks for making me think about that. I really love doing the DVDs

    Have a good holiday all!
  • Question -

    What is the transverse abdomonis - and how do I work it out?

    I wonder if it's what I do already and just don't knwo the name of it or if it's something that could still help...
  • It's a big muscle in your abs under it all! You need to find it with your fingers. Put your fingers right above your hip bones then do a Kegel you should feel your TA move. Once you find it you contract it without moving your other ab muscles.

    Once you find it contract your TA while squeezing a pillow between your knees 20 times. You can lie on your back, put your feet on an exercise ball contract your TA and roll the ball up to your butt and back out 20 times keeping the contraction. You can contract while lying on your back keep your hand on your TA and do opposite knee to elbow for 20 counts keeping the contraction.

    It takes some concentration to keep the contraction. You should be able to breath and let the rest of your abs relax while you work the TA. It's a big muscle that wraps behind your abs and is what really holds your core body together. If you see a PT they will help you find it. They're big believers in working the TA.

    You can google it and see the muscle group if you're like me and like to SEE what is being worked.
  • ahhhhhh.....dreamin'! I can't wait!!!!! To feel normal that is. I have my own at home childcare service contracted with the city for families who cannot afford the $350 a week (average) that childcare costs here. I hope I don't have to wait so long to get back to that. I miss the kids.

    But gosh....5 months and you're feeling so much better! That's awesome!!!!!!!!!! these kinds of posts give me such great hope!

    This was all crazy timing for me = this surgery, I mean. I had just started this Walk Fit exercise program and it was great. Now...I feel like a walking jellyfish! somedays I'm so shaky going down my 13 stairs to get to the kitchen or living room, I get nervous that I'll fall. But then, that's nothing new to me. about a month before surgery I fell down my steps. The next house I buy will be ONE level. ha ha.

    Glad for your fabulous news!!!!!
  • In house daycare is hard work! I did that for a short time when my son was little so I could be with him and make some extra money for my family.

    Did your doctor give you an idea of when you can get back to it? I would think you'll need some time to heal due to the nature of that work, lots of lifting little ones, leaning down to help little ones and such.

    My doctor had me walking from day one. I walked like a 90 year old woman LOL but I kept moving. I had to commit to 2 half hour walking sessions. It didn't matter how far I got but just that I was moving because it helps the bones fuse.

    I didn't take stairs for a couple of months due to that fear. Looking down was tough for me and I was so weak it was crazy! My head felt like a bowling ball on top of a stick.

    I can now lean over without pain and can do all sorts of "real" people stuff. I'm loving it! I don't have the original pain I did so I'm glad I did this surgery. I think at the end of my year healing time I'm going to really be glad I did this.

    Hang in it should get better!
  • That is now the buzz word with PTs. Core strength all revolves around it. Funny thing is, people doing Pilates have known this for a long time. Before my lumbar surgery I did PT and it was all core strength. Almost every exercise comes from Pilates. Some have a modification so spineys don't make a mess.

    Now post surgery my new PT. She starts in on that right away. First simple exercise is just what you are talking about. She describes it as. Try to pull your belly button in while keeping your spine neutral. This stops you from doing the idea of a crunch and pulling on abs. Instead you pull in and hold it for a few seconds. Then release. She also got me to start doing Kegels at the same time. I really thought Kegels was just an exercise for women. Silly me. That one for men she described as. Act like as if you were peeing and had to stop the stream and keep it stopped. Then relax. You can do both of these while sitting, standing, walking. It enforces good lower back posture. So for us lumbar surgery folks it is a big deal. I was told to forget crunches.

    Glad to see some positive stories in this section. Too many negative ones on this forum. Good for you.

  • Spiney's do need to modify. Pilates does some stuff that would hurt us. We are "special" LOL

    We do need exercise even more than those who have healthy spines. Everyone benefits from exercise but we have to exercise to stay mobile.

    I'm thrilled to have a good story to share. I'm getting stronger all the time and have learned so much on this journey. I'm sad that I needed this surgery but the experience has deepened my understanding and appreciation for the human body and just how much our necks do!

    I marvel watching people move their heads with such lack of effort. You just can't know how much our necks do until you have no neck and a big old head on top of it. My neck is getting strong again so the memory is not as clear but not having to hold the back of my head to get in and out of bed and up and down from a chair is a gift indeed.

    The spine is an amazing thing!
  • I just printed the how-to on the TA :) Can't wait to go try it out!

    I think I do a modified version of it already, but I think I'll need try it out tonight when I do my stretch routine in order to be sure.

  • Let me know how that goes for you. I'm thrilled my PT taught me how to work my TA. It's helped me to be able to hold my heavy head up LOL
  • Yay, I found you. Okay, a few mnths ago I received the surprising news that I needed the AxiaLif surgery. Although there are plenty of sites that really boast about it, I wanted to find 1 w/ real people + real stories. Your story + all the info you provided was a God send. It gave me a lot to consider + tons of questions to ask my doc. Surgery is in less than 2 wks, nervous but satisfied that after talking w/ doc + reading your post, that this is worth doing. Lots of deep breaths + prayers! Just wanted to thank you for your help in this!
  • Kiley,

    Glad to hear that my journal has been of help to someone. Regardless to deciding to or not do this surgery. I would ask that you also in turn start a new thread as a journal of your experience. Since this is a newer surgery the more feedback we can get the better. Give others more info since we all experience these things differently.

    Good luck!

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