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Now I understand the recovery roller coaster! Incision will remind you of its presence!

MeeshaMMeesha Posts: 55
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Yes, incisions do not like to be forgotten for long! I'm 4 weeks post-surg, and now I'm having more back pain, and incision pain. I guess from being more active now - maybe I overdo it sometimes. I go out, on the subway, buses, long walks, grocery shopping (not carrying too heavy a load - I bought a new grocery cart) and today was my first day back at work. I'm glad I only work part-time. I haven't been lying down much now, but I sit and lie in my recliner which is probably not good for my back, but I'm using a pillow for lumbar support.

But now I'm realizing what it means that recovery is a long road, and I still have to take it easy. I was going to try to go back to teaching classes this summer, but that will have to wait (too much standing).

Anyway, I'm starting to do physio now, and I'm looking for good post-surg core strengthening exercises. I know of a few, but trying to not do too many at once. I can't afford to go to a therapist right now.

How is everyone else - can you relate to my situation? Or suggest some core strengthening? Thanks.
discectomy in June 2010 - success! No sciatic pain, just some remaining numbness in foot. And I get charlie horses a lot.


  • Hey there...yes, your incision will remind you to not over do it. Even when it stops reminding you, please remember to be wise. I think you had similar surgery of mine.

    I'm 5 months post-op of a revision microdiscectomy (basically had same surgery twice) and still have to stay on my guard.

    Have you had a physical recently? I ask b/c some PT places have an "after care" program that usually cost $40/month in which you can have access to the PT without paying the regular visits.

    There are definitely exercises you can do but you really should have someone teach you how to do them. Any chance your doctor can show you some of the exercises that are safe?

    If not I'm sure you can find something on line about 'safe' stretches and small core strengthening.

    There are articles on this site


    Just be careful.
    I can tell you some things I do but I was advised based on my situation and an assessment. I would suggest you be sure to keep your back in the 'neutral position'. I stationary bike is ok (i.e. not on the road) but not for too long...I do 10-15 mins tops a day.

  • Thanks - I'll look into therapy programs. My doctor gave me a few exercises which I'm doing, and some I was given before surgery.

    I don't think I've always been careful enough about keeping my back in a neutral position - such as turning when in bed or reaching for something. But when I'm standing and walking, I'm more careful.
    discectomy in June 2010 - success! No sciatic pain, just some remaining numbness in foot. And I get charlie horses a lot.
  • out from surgery and I still get some really painful surgical reminders. The incisions on my back have healed well, but the incision on my stomach is still healing -- it is keloided, red, bumpy, and some days there is searing pain from way deep down. No one waves a magic wand after surgery to make you all better. Healing can take a lot of time.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Meesha,
    Pacing is always the key to recovery and we have to imposed restriction to ourselves and find where that daily level of capacity is, sometime we have to give up one thing to gain another and I know that those direct conversions are not always possible we now have a finite level of capacity and need to share that overall level to those aspect that we deem necessary.

    What we need to do differs from what we would like to do and doing everything is not possible, in trying to do it all and behave as we once were frustration begin to surface and we expect to be able to do these collective things and that is not possible.

    Improvement is not always incremental and progressive and when the roller coaster dips we have to plan in how we will adapt and cope, in not be able to do as we once did or would like. Although our overall capacity may improve over time it is usually inconsistent, although as you I am committed to some work aspects I have to continue even when I would rather rest and standing is problematic. You can only do your best and keep those expectations realistic and attainable, anyone attempting to work while in pain should be applauded, for me recovery did not bring that improvement in overall function and capacity which necessitated a reduction of my own roles and responsibility, compressing my old life into my new capability is impossible and the loss of some desirable elements have been omitted in the need perform others.

    I teach as well and understand that standing and walking restriction.

    Take care and good luck.


  • Thanks for letting me know about your experiences. I'm learning what I need to do to avoid pain. I found that standing in the kitchen preparing food for a long time was causing pain - now I'm more careful how I stand, and try not to lean too much. The last 2 days, I've been doing better.
    discectomy in June 2010 - success! No sciatic pain, just some remaining numbness in foot. And I get charlie horses a lot.
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