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Treadmill one month post op?

lisadaylenellisadaylene Posts: 79
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I am now one month post op double lumbar fusion. I have started walking 1 mile to 1 1/2 miles a day. The problem in my neighborhood is we do not have sidewalks, have to walk on the side of the road in the dirt/sand. Dogs are a problem, I have to carry a stick and am afraid of having a dog cause me to have to run or fall. I have a very nice treadmill at home. I have read everthing from people using treadmills as long as they are not inclined at all to people saying that you should not use one for months. I have a call in to my doctor, who has not returned my call yet. So I wanted to get other's imput on this. Thank you for any help. I just don't see how a treadmill at a low speed in the safety of my home is worse than walking in my neighborhood.


  • A flat and straight surface is the best. I was petrified of falling. I avoided the treadmill for 5-6 months...you can't control what happens on the treadmill. What if there is a malfunction? For me, it was too big of a risk. People do it...and may not have a problem. I say they are just very lucky. Walking on an uneven surface is no different.

    I was in my parent's yard last weekend and almost fell in a divet in the grass, and I'm 10 months out. It made me realize once again that I must be so careful not to fall.

    Is there a place that you can walk other than what you have mentioned? I had surgery in Nov last year, and had to walk in a mall for a couple of months due to bad weather, but I also felt more stable there.

    Please take care,

  • If so, they may be a good resource for info.
    Bravo to you for doing that amount of walking!
    I am one month out and can only go a block or so, with the walker, my legs are shaky and unstable. I did start p/t last week, so hopefully I can start hitting the mile marker!
    just wait for medical advice before using the thread mill!
    Be careful of those dogs!
    Sleepgirl's mall walking is a great idea!
    Best of luck to you for a speedy & full recovery!
  • Lisa and Virginia, thank you very much for your imput. I wish I had a mall nearby, but it takes about 25 - 30 minutes to drive there. Virginia, you asked if I am in Physical Therapy and I do start on Thursday. I will ask them their opinions about what I can and cannot do. I am going to ask about the pool at the gym and also stationary bikes, the ones with the arm rests and back support. I think because I feel so good, that I am pushing things a little? My husband agrees with both of you by the way. So my treadmill will stay in the corner until I get the go ahead from my doctor. My husband says he will walk with me in the evenings to make sure that I am ok. I am fine with that for now. I gained some weight on Lyrica, which I just stopped taking, and I think that is why I am so anxious to exercise. Thank you again, I really appreciate you both taking the time to write. I wish you both the best.

  • I would think that if it's flat and at a slow steady pace it should be OK, but that's just my opinion and, as others have said, it may be good to get professional advice first.

    I am 10 weeks post op of a double fusion also and find walking to be the only exercise that doesn't hurt my back so much. However, it's very limited where I live because there's either hills up or down - so I'm confined to walking around the block (very boring!). I did visit our nearest shopping mall with my daughter recently - the walking surface was brilliant, however, the appeal to do some retail therapy was too much to resist. Ha! I can't afford to walk in there again!!!!

    If you're thinking of going swimming - have you checked out to see if they provide any hydrotherapy sessions? These would be perfect for improving your core strength and general exercise. I'm starting these sessions next week and it was organised through my physiotherapist. Because I'm in the UK and it's organised through the NHS, it won't cost me either, which is very helpful at the moment!

    If you do get any feedback from your GP, it would be interesting to find out what he/she says?
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • The pool is a great way to walk! However, you need to get that cleared with your surgeon. I am 6-1/2 weeks post double fusion with 3 levels of hardware and my dr. just cleared me last week to get in the pool. Your incision must be completely healed and closed. Walking on a surface is still a struggle for me, but I went in the pool for the 1st time last night and it was awesome! I was even able to do some laps (back stroke only per MD) in addition to the walking. Be careful though, it is easy to over do things!

    I was told by my physical therapist not to use a treadmill as it is too dangerous. She was very happy when doc cleared me to get in the pool!
  • Hello, thank you for sharing your opinions. I have decided to wait until Thursday to see what the physical therapist suggests. I have a very nice treadmill, never slips, and I am not going to walk very fast. But I will wait until he tells me when it is ok. That's funny about the mall, I would probably find it very expensive. LOL
    I am going to ask about the hydrotherapy for sure. I have a pool, but too cold right now to use. I am going to be using the pool at 24 Hour fitness and I was planning on just walking in the shallow end. I am going to ask them what kind of programs they offer.
    Is that picture your lower back tattoo? Very nice. I was looking at pictures on the internet of tattoos people got to cover back surgery scars, but I would wonder if that is a good idea. It would probably hurt to tattoo over the scar. Oh well, I have a couple of years before that is an issue anyway. Take care, thank you again.
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