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Got Brave Today--Back on the Treadmill

sassy411ssassy411 Posts: 199
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Exercise and Rehab
So I haven't gotten my PT referral yet, tho I'm sure it's coming. I had to give up lap swimming because it was really aggravating my back, I think the combo of extension & twisting.

I've been trying to get some semblance of exercise in the pool with a jog belt. It's ok, but not enough cardio.

So today, after my am pain pill & half Soma, I wobbled my way back to the treadmill with bad knee braced. About half of my usual speed & NO incline.

I did 30 mins, came home & walked the dog--not very far.

I started feeling the pain right away but it could also be my am pain pill wearing off.

We'll see how this plays out. I would LOVE to be able to do treadmill regularly again.


  • Hi there,

    I too am desparate to get back into my exercise regime so just wanted to say a huge well done to you, we have to (annoyingly) start so slow but you've done really well. I used to be at the gym 4/5 times a week prior to my degenerative disc disease rapidly declining, so 9 months on from lumbar spinal fusion surgery it's so frustrating only still being able to do physio exercises and walking (although I have just started attending a hospital back class in the last two weeks, only one night a week but even mentally it helps and I think will eventually contribute to be being able to get back into the gym properly). Swimming I was also advised against for back aggravation, they said the hyper-extending wouldn't do me any favours, but now that you mention it the twisting & extension would def make my pain worse too (currently having horrible pain in my thoracic area & ribs).

    It's kind of a constant guessing game though isn't it?! Like... right, I'll take my meds THEN do a walk, then when you get home you're wondering if the pain kicking in is the meds wearing off or the exercise doing its stuff???! So confusing, drives me mad!

    Keep us updated and good luck :)

  • Timing really becomes everything. AM pain pill, ok, walk the dog.

    I really miss the lap swimming, I felt like I was getting an actual workout. But the hyper extension, as you said & the twisting really aggravated things. I'm still paying.

    I have more pain than usual but who knows what that's about. Yesterday's gym adventure, sleeping in the wrong position, who knows.

    I so feel you on the missing our regular work outs. My doc's assistant said to chill out until I can get a referral to PT, but I can't just sit around.

    Ack, actually, sitting is the worst.
  • Oh my goodness I can totally relate to them saying "chill out til you get your physio referral"...easy for them to say, huh?! I had to really push for mine as it's not standard after spinal fusion in the UK, so I went from May until November with zero physio advice, horrible.

    It's definitely difficult to do nothing when you're so used to being active (have to admit I get house rage outbursts when home alone, pent up anger from all the pain and frustration, sure you can totally relate)!

    You're right with the not knowing what each days pain relates to, it's like a constant guessing game isn't it? I mean a walk could set it off but we're supposed to walk, but then sleeping in wrong position or doing too much of anything (even standing cooking dinner sometimes?!).... who knows, but I DO totally sympathise with you and have got your back (no pun intended haha)!

    Feel free to vent at me coz I think we're in a very similar situation just now, guess we have to be very patient but some days that is way easier said than done!

    OK, this all being said, I need to go take some meds as pain kicking in and I need to do my physio this afternoon....

    Take care x
  • That's a keeper! You made my whole morning with that one. House Rage--yeah, I get that too!

  • Lets trade mark that on! Glad I've helped to cheer you up, that's cheered ME up ;)

    (in addition to house rage I also suffer from online shopping excessively... what's a girl to do with all this time to browse)?! Ha :)

    L x
  • Meant to say Trade Mark that ONE... obv! Typing sideways while lying down = spelling errors!!!
  • I got to the point where I gave up waiting and told my husband that I was either going to sit around and be in pain or exercise, feel better about myself and be in pain. I had already been through what was called "back school" conducted by the PT clinic, but basically devised my own rehab program. I knew that I could risk further injuring myself, but the emotional and mental uplift from getting some exercise was worth the risk to me.

  • I miss lap swimming too. What I have found to help get an aerobic exericse is cross country skiing in deep water. I can really get a good workout doing that. It takes a bit of coordination to not sink but one can really move across the pool but, alas, no downhills. And you don't have to worry about falling over and crashing. My PT recommended it.
  • No PT ordered yet, my GP wants to wait until I see the PM doc & hopefully try the epidural first.

    He did ok my water jogging. He's less sanguine on the treadmill due to the bounciness, he likes eliptical better for me, but it's too rough on my knee.

    So treadmill is ok if I keep it very slow & no incline.

    Progress. Baby steps. But progress.
  • scare a lot of surgeons. The ortho I had in the beginning said, "No go for short walks on flat land". Then the neuro after my second surgery said the same. He did say elliptical was ok as long as I had low resistance setting.

    Interestingly both doctors after both a discectomy and fusion later. They wanted no laying around. I got 2 weeks to lay around and recoup. Then off to PT. I was really basic pilates stuff. After the fusion it was water therapy for a while. Lots of walking and basic stretching in the pool.

    Like C I was not about sitting around and both my docs knew I wanted to get going with PT. While it might have caused more pain in the beginning it was a much better mental uplift. I was also walking everyday.
  • How, oh how are we supposed to be getting our cardio?

    My doc prefers the elipical as well, but that tears up my bad knee.

    Water jogging, water jumping jacks (with jog belt), gets kind of boring. I need to change it up now & then, but to what?
  • I was going to swimming well aqua therapy with my Physiotherapist and found as soon as I took the back float board off and did exercises in the water it made my back worse. Do you use a support for your back in the water I thought they would help?

    I've been doing a lot of online shopping too and now I look like a hoarder and think I need an intervention. Can't wait until the snow and ice is gone to get out walking again. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Charry,

    I think I did a lot of damage by swimming. I could not seem to get it thru my head that it was the swimming causing my low back pain! Like many of us, I just pushed thru it. Until just a few weeks ago, I was doing 36 laps most mornings. Now I'm a slug.

    I use a jog belt for jogging/walking forwards & backwards. I have to stay in the deep end because if my feet hit bottom, it hurts my knee.

    I got mine online. You want to be sure to get one made for women, the first belt I had was too wide & chafed alot under my arms.

    Swimming also was rough on my neck & caused hyperextension in my back.

    Meh. I always thought swimming was the best exercise for everyone.
  • Thanks for the info on the belt. My Physiotherapist has me doing only water walking and a few other exercises but not regular swimming. It would be good if you could find a treatment Physiotherapy that has warm water therapy if you chose to go to swimming. I found my PT through a children's disability pool so really had to look around for pool therapy. Best wishes and hope you find the right cardio exercise to do. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hello,
    Those high impact activities are not good for the future and I use a bike to ride about, gets the heart rate up, low impact and I see more. I too gave up on swimming which I loved and as a runner before all these are big issues for me,

    Take care, brave was a good word !!!!

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