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Running / Exercise Program for 1st Time in 8 Years

huskerfanhhuskerfan Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Good News
Since taking a new job in Wisconsin on March 8th, I have slowly gotten back into exercising/running over the past month.

I am now running 2-3 miles per workday (at a good 4.2 mph pace on average), and am about to begin strength training next week. I still haven't lost much weight (still around 270... my max weight was 295, and I weighed 195 in college - 14 years ago), but I'm feeling much more energized and healthy than I've felt since I was diagnosed with DDD and proceded to have 4 surgeries over the next 5 years.

Just wanted to share the good news. It is possible to get back to "normal" even after four fusions. ;-)


  • Thats is great news We all love to hear news like that. Its give us all hope Thanks
  • Thanks for posting the good news Huskerfan!! I would love to get back to my regular routine. What a difference it made on everything in my life. Hopefully soon :)
  • That is excellant news Huskerfan! It feels go good to be getting back to yourself! I was just asking my PT today, if it was possible to get back to my former fitness level in the next 6 months! Not my skinny weight, but my "happy" weight! :)

    Great job! Let us know how it goes!
  • I'm so excited for you!

    Sounds like you are being very smart on the taking it easy. Be very careful with the running...seems like you are at a good pace and right distance for benefit without too much additional damage.

    It must feel so good to be out in the fresh air.
    Keep up the strength training, especially for your core muscles.

    Congrats on feeling better.
  • Well, the running had to stop due to plantar fasciitis and I lost some pounds, but stayed around 270 for a while. But I switched to a recumbent exercise bike a couple of months ago and changed my eating habits. Since then, I have dropped from 273 to 248. Good news.

    Unfortunately, I've been having some bad burning, stabbing and tearing pains behind my right shoulder blade for a few weeks now. Based on my past experience, I just know that the pain is tied to my neck, despite not having issues with my cervical spine since 2007. I guess I'll have to succumb and go see my neurosurgeon. I really don't want to, but I know it would be stupid to just continue to try to ignore the pain. It's gradually getting worse, and Advil just won't cut it anymore.

    Anybody have any advice or info they would like to provide, or am I right in thinking I need to get to my neurosurgeon?

    Later, fellow spineys!!!
  • I was interested in your April 7 2010 post and amazed at your resolve to try running. I am partially recovered from herniated disc, and free of pain but the left calf is too weak to run at all, so this is not an option at all. Good news is I can walk as much as I want to and the calf is strengthening somewhat from passage of time.

    Did you formerly get good relief with Gabapentin / neurontin? That was great for me during my 12 weeks of HD pain. I'm sure you've already tried the ice and the rest. Is your job or hobby requiring you to sit for long periods of time in the same position? Also, how well did spine extensions work for you, if you have tried them in the past? My hopes for that is that I'll not have any repeat episodes of the HD, and I have figured out a way to ensure I get the spine extension moves 3 times a week. I have access to a convenient, clean, heated pool that I swim laps in. Right now, that may be impossible with your neck problems.

    According to a dermatome map, your pain may be in the distribution of C7 or T1.

    Well, good luck and thanks for the follow up post.

  • Well, I had my MRI last week and my appointment with my neurosurgeon is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. The pain is getting worse, but I'm still exercising daily and dealing with the pain with NSAID's and occasionally resorting to Vicodin.

    My job does consist of sitting for long periods of time. I have tried extensions in the past, and they did seem to help, but my two lumbar discs were too far gone and I had to have surgery to stop permanent nerve damage. Do they do spine extensions on the cervical spine? That sounds a little scary to me. Of course, no scarier than another surgery... ;-).

    I'll update after my appointment with the neurosurgeon.
  • I gave up running when I was first diagnosed in 2008. I have been symptom free most of the time since then (no surgery). I got cocky and started jogging a bit on a treadmill recently, and the cervical symptoms started up again. GRRRRRRR!
  • Interestingly I tried jogging a bit, not running. I walk nightly about 1.5 miles with my dog. Mainly to exercise him. I do mixed cardio/resistance training 4-6 days/week. All low impact. No heavy weights ever. It works very well.

    I'm 18 months post fusion. So out of curiosity I tried mixed walk/jog. I have good running shoes. On concrete it just doesn't feel good. I can feel it in my back where the screws/rods are. If I get off the road onto grass. That doesn't feel bad and I can do it ok. Beyond that I doubt I will ever run. I do have a treadmill and gave up on it. Too boring. Tried eliptical and that makes a decent change but also gets boring.

    It just seems that running follows the old theory that is pounds on your joints too much. So treadmill with floating platform or eliptical lets you go fast without the hard pounding.
  • I ended up losing more weight... dropped to 220 at one point. I maintained that weight for a couple of years. Unfortunately, about 3 months ago, I started feeling that familiar feeling of nerve pain radiating around my hips and down my thighs. After a lumbar bone scan and MRI... I have herniated discs at L2/L3 & T11/T12. I already have had previous fusions at C6/C7 & C5/C6, as well as L4/L5 & L5/S1. I've already had one facet joint steroid injection due to the arthritis, but am going to have another ESI in a week or so. I really don't want to have another fusion surgery. I am still only 40 years old with 4 previous fusions. Looking for answers. I'm getting depressed.
  • I am glad that you stopped running, since with fusion, it is probably not the best idea. The constant impacts and ground contact can't be good for the discs above and below the fusion sites.
    I hope that they can figure out something to hold off on having to fuse more.
  • HautemessHautemess San DiegoPosts: 24
    Excellent news!  I look forward to running again, but maybe not anymore half marathons. 
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