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What exactly do they mean by no twisting

beaverbbeaver Posts: 189
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
PT told hubby that he could lie anyway that was comfortable in bed. But then they say not to twist. He moves around fairly freely in bed and lies both on his back and on his side. Should he be doing this?
Also what kind of bed should he be on? Should he stick to a regular bed or can he lie on a chaise lounge?
Should he be wearing proper walking shoes when he walks or are sandals ok. Right now we are in 30+ celsius temps so we are dressing very lightly.
Sorry about all the questions people but we don't see the surgeon for another eight weeks and I don't know how much our family doctor knows about this so I thought I would ask those with experience.


  • I had an L5/S1 fusion laminectomy 3 weeks ago and I have always been a side sleeper. While in the hospital I asked the PT team whether this was OK and then what would be the proper method of movement.

    Bottom line, at least my doctor and PT said that laying on the side was fine. The trick is to move the hips and the upper trunk as one solid unit. So...... for me, this meant bending the legs up at the knees, and rolling the hips and upper body to the side (I also place a pillow between my legs). In the hospital, and until I got a little more strength, I would use the edge of the bed and kind of pull myself on my side. Again.... twisting means keeping the hips in line with the upper body. Do that and you'll be ok. Of course, depending on procedure he had and his doctor or PT, things could be different, but I think I saw similar postings in my two years of research.

    I don't have any type of a brace. I have a fairly soft mattress, but good support if that makes sense. Then I spend a good deal of time in a lounger that cradles my body in a natural curve position.

    Good luck!
  • As Mikey said, keeping the body alignment when rolling in bed. PT should have shown him how to log roll to get himself positioned to get out of bed safely without trying to sit up or twist.

    I did a lot of post op walking in 30+ temps and wore sandals with good tread and cushioning. Several companies make really great ones. I avoided flip flops and slip on sandals.

    I spent many hours during the day lying on a chaise that I had placed a thick inflatable camping mattress on. The mattress brought the height of the chaise up so I could just sit down on it easily without having to dip down to sit down.

    Everyone has different preferences on the type of bed to sleep on post op. I basically had no choice and was stuck with either sleeping on the chaise or sleeping on a very firm mattress. Don't know that it made any difference in healing for me, it was more a discomfort issue.

  • If he keeps his shoulders in line with his hips, then his spine will be straight and not twisted. He will have been shown how to 'log roll', which keeps him straight while he is getting into and out of bed.

    Sleeping on his side is fine. A pillow between his knees will take some of the stress off his back, and probably be more comfortable. When he is sleeping on his back, the pillow under his knees does the same job.

    As for a bed to sleep on, I think whatever is comfortable and that he can get onto without bending or twisting his back. Anything low will be more difficult.
    Some people have said in the past, that they get hold of raisers to put the legs on to raise the level. I had a bed in our lounge initially, which meant I could lie down comfortably during the day, but still be with the family. I haven't tried lying on our couch, but it looked too low!

    As for shoes for walking. In view of the high temperatures that you are having, the sandals are probably ok, as long as they do give support.
    I find that there is definately a difference between walking in my walking boots and other shoes. The more support my footwear gives, the more steady I feel. If he isn't walking far yet, the sandals will probably be the most comfortable.

    I hope that his recovery will continue well and that soon he will start to be able to do the things that were not possible before surgery :-)
  • get some great tips here and also to show you so you can help him ..just type in the research somewere there's videos to show him..
    yes i so agree with all keeping upper body as one
    and log roll is the best..
    I was blessed at yrs ago when i had my fusion i had my dog...and he pulled me up..outta bed...was amazing..how they sense things..

    I had never trained him but that dog helped me so much..

    As far as lounger i so agree c i also had air cushions on my chair so keeping the seat higher up.

    I did just sleep in my normal bed on my side
    with thin pillow btwn legs..(my bed is med not too firm but more soft...really i feel firmer works best I'm looking for new one.

    google it also youtube has all types of videos....sometimes i do better with visual....tips

    best of luck on his recovery..
    and tell him keep torso in line and roll....

    just my opinion from my surgery..
    I'm not a doctor in medical field...just been thru alot..

    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • I've had spine issues for many years someone mentioned having a pillow between your legs for me that's the only way to go. It helps to keep me in better alignment. Log rolling is very important to keep from hurting yourself also hopefully they taught him that!! I try to avoid flip flops just because they have no support, there are some good sandals out there but they can be a bit pricey. In my opinion good shoes are worth it, you should have a walking shoe type store in your area that can recommend good shoes. I happen to love Keen's they have a wonderful arch and are very comfortable(at least for me). I am normally pretty cheap but I have learned when my feet are happy it helps my back. :smile:" alt=":smile:" height="20" />
  • are all giving great advice.
    Just as a side note, you don't need an appointment to call the doctor to ask for the advice. Never be afraid to do this. I called a few times to ask and my surgeon has always had his staff call me back (or he's called back himself if I was really scared about something).

    No twisting = no vaccuuming, no sweeping, log roll out of bed or when you turn. Try to keep hips and shoulders aligned. Good shoes are recommended but if he's comfortable in sandals ok but just be careful they aren't the kind where the toe can get caught and trip him up. I also don't walk our dog because a sudden pull can twist me. Also, I like to focus so I don't trip on a pebble or uneven surface.

  • I found a body pillow to be a lifesaver because I never seemed to be able to perfect my logroll. For some reason hugging the body pillow helped me roll and, as a former stomach sleeper, keeps me on my side while being able to fit under my knees at the same time!
  • My biggest trigger is loading or unloading the dishwasher. I NEVER do this anymore. Just that little amount of twisting was enough to trigger major pain.

    I don't know if he regularly helps with the dishwasher, but tell him he can't anymore. Also be careful with laundry - I use a gripper and keep my shoulders and hips aligned. Takes a lot longer but is safer.

    I do not lay on my side. I lay flat on my back with 2 pillows under my knees. And apparently, I don't move at all. Hubs says it freaks him out and he often checks to see if I'm breathing as it looks like I'm in a coffin position to him. lol

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