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Excercising? Well pain, and excercisng!

HeidiLynnMHHeidiLynnM Posts: 445
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello! I am wondering about the who excercise thing. I was doing 2 miles on the treadmill before surgery, and now I try to get on the elliptical, HOLY CRAP! It hurts like heck! I do a lot around the house, but I also have fibromyalgia so that doesnt help.

I am just curious if any of you that had the alif how long post op did you get back to getting back? :)

I just know that pain and the excercise really hurts!!!!!!!


  • My surgeon was one of those whose instructions were "If it hurts, don't do it."

    Did your surgeon give you the green light to use the elliptical trainer? Many surgeons do not allow it for many months after fusion because it causes a "shearing" motion through the hips. Particularly if you had a lower lumbar fusion, it makes it very difficult for any bone to grow together when you are making continuous movements that are jarring and move the sides of your body separately.

    Many surgeons restrict their patients from exercise other than walking for the first three months, sometimes even longer. Many do not send the patients to PT until there are significant signs of fusing. After this point, they are allowed to ride an exercise cycle, and perhaps use other equipment, depending on what was wrong.

    If you are having pain, I would suggest you think about cutting back on your activities. You are still early in your recovery.
  • While my more recent problems have been neck issues, I have a long lower back history. I am unable to use an elliptical machine because of the motion through the hips mentioned above. I would always throw my back out a few weeks after using the machine and my back doctor finally told me that low back patients are often unable to tolerate the elliptical. It's a shame, as I actually enjoyed using that machine and always liked the fact that it is very low impact while giving a great workout.

    You probably ought to walk instead. Have you tried a recumbent bicycle?
  • walking is the only exercise my dr approved this soon after ALIF and you were the day after mine so I suppose youre in the same boat. Also, I would pay good money just to be able to make a good STRETCH!
  • Stay off it unless specifically told ok. That also includes treadmills. Walking, lots of it. Small doses to start. 2-4x per day in small bursts. Not 1 walk of 2 miles. The multiple walks means more stretches with breaks in between.

    My first 8 weeks was aqua therapy and walking. If you can't get to the pool then just walking.

    After 8 weeks I was told I could increase walking to what I could stand. That was 2-5 miles a day. At 6 months I went into a full on exercise regiment.
  • My surgery was cervical - C4-C7 fusion. Even with that, I was only allowed to walk for 2 full months. I'm just past that now and I am finally on the eliptical. Just the simple twisting motion hurts and my surgery was in my neck! I can't imagine doing the machine with lower back healing. Definitely check to make sure you are not damaging anything Heidi. Nothing is worth going thru all this again! I gained 25 lbs since this pain started 6 months ago. I'm expecting it to take at least that long to get it off again, moving very slowly. My doc said it is very important to know when it is muscle pain from exercising vs pain that your body is telling you something is wrong... Hope it helps.

  • Yes the elliptical is a killer!!!! On another note, sleeping in bed is still awful. I have tried everything, I just moan, and groan!!!!! I will keep to walking, I just want to keep my weight down.

    I got the elliptical because it burns so many calories, but holy crap. I get off there and feel like i have legs of stone! It will be nice when I feel safe to do all the things I want to do. I have been trying my "best" not to bend, and that is the hardest!!!!!!!!!! Thanks guys!
  • Hi Heidi - now I had cervical instead of lumbar, but I still sleep on heating pads 10 weeks later. In the beginning I slept on 2, one on each side of my upper back. It is the only way I can get comfortable.

    Can you do any free muscle exercises at your stage or leg squats? Just building muscles in the places you can use might help? I use the workout system called 'The firm', but only do the parts that the doc says I'm allowed to work.

    Hope you are feeling better soon..
  • Exercise but slow....is the way to go. Pilates was my first exercise after PT. Not on the floor type, but only on the reformer and with a coach not in a class. Then I started walking slowly, lots and lots of walking. My friend had a knee replacement so together we where a whole person. haha. But we started walking together. We started to walk and train for the three day breast cancer walk and it gave us a goal. We did not do the 60 miles in three days, but more like 40. It was great!

    After that, I moved to swimming, and biking. I do the eliptical, in small amounts. My L5-S1 fusions do not like running or anything like that much. I am now three years out from my first surgery and two years from second fusion and have completed three Triathalons and I am on a team (of regular ladies just Tri'n for fun) I still swim, bike and pilates the most.

    Hope that helps! Happy recovery! Keep moving ;-)
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