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Can anyone tell me why

thenadetthenade Posts: 137
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Can anyone tell me why it can be more painful to stand than walk post fusion? Do any others find this?


  • I don't have an answer but I find it way more painful to stand as well. Walking makes my pain go away almost completely. Weird.
  • I remember feeling like my back was locking up if I just stood somewhere. It would take me some effort and careful manuevering to get started again. Gradually it got better, but still... I wonder why?
  • well I am with you,standing still is worse,but I don't know why?

  • Can you tell us Gwennie?
  • I'm sorry to disappoint all of you but I do not really know the answer. My guess is that it has to do with gravity but I can't find any numbers to back up that idea. I know sitting puts 30% more pressure on the spine than either walking or standing.

    My guess is that when standing, first it is more obvious if your "building blocks" are not all properly in alignment..you know, ankles, knees, pelvis, shoulders, head....With gravity pushing down, structural alignment becomes more important and more difficult. When walking, the body is in constant movement, so all those little muscles and ligaments in the spine have more oxygen coming to them from the increased blood circulation, and perhaps, they do not have to work quite as hard to keep the body upright and balanced.

    Also, gravity presses down on the spine causing the discs to compress and for the muscles and soft tissue to contract. When standing, the muscles have to work harder to maintain balance. When walking, you are propelling yourself forward (or backward). It is not a static position so the muscles do not have to work as hard to maintain balance and hold the body upright.

    Probably after surgery when all these muscles and soft tissue are already under stress and on the verge of cramping, standing requires that much extra effort.

    That's my GUESS.
  • I was talking about lumbar surgeries. I don't have any experience with cervical problems.

  • I haven't had surgery yet and I also find that standing is the worst thing I can do for my back. I think it is because of the stenosis that I have, which causes compression on my cord and nerve roots. Slow walking is also painful after a very short time, but if I walk briskly, I can walk for much longer.
    I did ask my surgeon why this was, and he said it was because when I am walking briskly, I engage all my core stability muscles, where as when I walk slowly, they are much more relaxed. I wonder if this is a clue to why standing is so bad for our pain levels.

    It is disappointing to hear that people post-fusion still have this problem as I was really hoping that surgery would sort this out for me and enable me to stand and walk further.

    Is there anyone who has had fusion surgery, who has improved and can now stand and walk slowly without pain?

  • this is yet another instance where my experience differs from most members that post. I will be 17 weeks post-op tomorrow and I have no trouble walking at any speed, standing for fairly long periods, or doing really anything I want. The only times I have any discomfort at all is when I am sitting somewhere with little or no lumbar support. But even then there's no actual pain, just a slight discomfort that reminds it's not good for me. But that's all. I've been able to go hiking, go to the movies, wander around the mall, etc. Really my back doesn't stop me from doing anything any longer. Well within reason lol contact sports are out but that's about it :)

  • I'm similar to awalker, walking/standing not really a problem, but sitting w/out good lumbar support for extended periods is still out of the question. When I think I'll need it, I bring along my special pillow and when necessary I'll get up and move around a bit til it eases.

    Jelly, do you find if you lean forward a bit, it makes it somewhat less painful? It seems to take some of the pressure off the nerves when there is stenosis. Perhaps alternating periods of standing w/ 'resting' periods of slightly leaning will help when you're on your feet for extended periods.


  • Oh Jelly,

    I'm sorry it's gotten so bad, it makes it so very hard to try to get through the day. I only had the severe stuff (pain, etc.) for 3 months, but, I never want to have to deal with something like this again. I have a feeling the Winter weather could exacerbate the symptoms. Does heat help at all? We have a product here in the US called Thermacare (adhesive patches) that generate heat for a period of time. They can be helpful when a heating pad or soak in the tub isn't doable. See this link:


    Hope it helps.

  • I haven't tried a heated pad - perhaps I should try one. Funny, a few years ago I bought something for my husband because he was having pain in his back, but I haven't thought of trying one myself. He didn't find it helpful, so maybe that's why.
    I do find standing in the shower with nice warm water, very soothing.
    I also sometimes use a heated wheat bag around my neck when it is painful.

    When I have lots of pain in my lower back and sciatica in my legs, I do find that ice helps it. Mind you I think that heat is much more pleasant. I was told that because I have inflamation, ice is better.

    Thanks for sending the link. It has caused me to think I'll try heated pads to see if they can give relief. I'll try anything.

    How are you getting on? Are you healing well? I am going to see a surgeon next week. Scarey stuff!

    Take care.
  • Hi back Jelly,

    Sometimes heat worked, sometimes ice - I could never say til I tried to see what worked better. I hope the heated pads give you some relief. We had some horrible rainy weather on Monday, the excessive damp really did a number on both my sinuses and I had some twinges w/ my back as well, I'm better now that the weather cleared. I'm also very careful to keep my lower back covered and warm at this time of year -I love fleece since it's soft/cozy & a breeze to wash/dry.

    Overall, I'm feeling really well, tho' I'm still careful as I have another 5 1/2 months before I hit my year mark and next scheduled visit w/ the OSS. Since I've done very well, he feels it's OK not to have another followup til then.

    Please keep us posted on how the surgeon's visit goes for you -

    Hope today is better for you pain wise.

    Take care and gentle hugs - >:D<

  • to lean forward on something, and I do tend to lean forward when walking, when I am in pain. But, as I have got worse, I now find that once I am getting the building pain from standing, even leaning forward can't get rid of it. It may slow down the time when I just have to go and sit or lie down, but that is all.
    Strangely I also find leaning back against a wall helps if I am having to stand for more than a few minutes.
    I do seem to get opposing symptoms. I think they could be depending on what is causing the pain at that moment. Some times it is the stenosis and sometimes it is one of the discs.
    The best thing I find when in lots of pain, is to lie down. Sometimes, this makes it worse for a little while, but then it starts to feel better, and after a bit, I feel perfectly comfortable. Pitty I can't lie on my back all day!
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