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Your views/experience with riding a bike please ??

SueDSSueD Posts: 545
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Recovering from Surgery
About 2 months before my 2-level PLIF surgery in July this year, I bought a bicycle with the aim of achieving super fitness (ha! I would have settled for an 'improvement' at least). Well, I had it for about 2 weeks and found that it made my back pain worse - so it went back to the shop. When I come to think of it, the position I was in when I cycled was 'bent over', so this is probably why it hurt more.

I was thinking recently of trying to do some form of exercise that would improve my core strength. I walk and attend hydrotherapy once a week, but that's not enough in my opinion.

Have any of you taken up/returned to cycling after having had lumbar spine surgery - a PLIF maybe? Do you have a special bike that keeps your spine more upright? Or, have you given up cycling because it exacerbates your back pain?

I'd be very interested to hear of your experiences/views.
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 !!


  • With having 4 levels fused in my lumbar bike riding was not happening. I ended up investing in a recumbent 3 wheel trike. It even has a flame paint job! Too cool! The make of the bike is Triton. Pricey, but worth it. If you are short (like me) you can get the kids bike which is 100 $ less.

    Hope that helps,
  • I was never great on a real bike. Too afraid of the conditions of the roads around here plus the traffic is horrid.

    I talked to my neurologist last week and he feels that it is OK for me to go to a gym. Apparently he feels there isn't anything I can do that would cause additional damage. So my goal is to lose weight and tone up. I just found that they are offering a special for new members of $30 for 30 days so I can give it a try and see how I feel. I think I will also get a session with a personal trainer to find out what exercises will help to tone the abs without killing my neck.

    I like Lisa's idea of a recumbent bike. Or what about an old fashioned girls bike where you sit up?
  • Sue,

    I am not sure if you should be riding a bike yet, check with your surgeon. But go back to the bike shop and they can order you special extenders for the handle bars to bring them up to you, which will help you not be so bent over. In back surgery is a success post of a member from about 4 years back whom had fusion and is back to actual racing.

    You can also get the device that makes the bike a stationary bike for your home, as well. That way you could get really used to of it before you try and actually ride it. It just hooks on the back axial and raises it off the ground so when the chain drives the wheel no movement.
  • I was told recumbant stationary bike after lumbar fusion only and only after 6 months of healing.

    I recently tried a normal upright stationary bike at PT for my knee and it was a nightmare. We decided to stick with the recumbant.

    One of my bad back injuries was on a bike hitting a pot hole. I recovered after a couple months around 10 years ago- look at me now!

    No more bikes for me unless it is guaranteed safe :)

  • i was advised after my last surgery NOT to ride any forms of bikes {real ones or the kind you find in the gym} reason ...they put you back in a lot of stress even on a healthy person ..so after a fusion ..i would give it a miss unless you are wanting a return to the OR !! or as we say back in theater again
  • I'll not risk riding a bike. For the time being, I will just try and walk more instead. Thanks everyone.
    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 !!
  • I had my double lumbar fusion surgery on Aug 27th, and two weeks ago I started physical therapy. The had me on a stationary bike from the start, for ten minutes at about a 2.7. So now I do at least ten minutes stationary bike and twenty minutes or more on the treadmill. I am also very leary of riding a real bike, too many chances for falling, we don't have any safe bike lanes where I live, so I will just let my bike collect dust for now.
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