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3 months post-op - Muscles are tight

WoodyWWoody Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I had a laminectomy L5/S1 and a discetomy L4/L5 on 12/11/12. It has been 3 1/2 months. Post surgery the pain in my leg was gone. I stayed out of work for 8 weeks and walked a lot everyday. I started PT two weeks after the surgery and went two times a week for 7 weeks. I also did exercises every day. The feel way better than I did pre-op. I feel that I was conservative and did all the rehab.

I have muscle tightness on the other side of my back. The tight/sore muscles are even about four inches above my incision. It is just weird how it is on the opposite side and higher up on my back. It really is only bad at night. I sleep ok but wake up when I roll over. It also bothers me if I sit at work for a long time. Movement and walking really help. I tried to get a deep tissue message last week. The therapist was really good and it did really help for a few days. She said I need to retrain the muscles and to come back every two weeks for a while. I will try it even though it gets a little expensive.

I would like some feedback on anyone else who has had this issue. A friend of mine said it took her a year to feel completly normal again. I hope that is the case. I can wait it out. I just worry a little that if I am not proactive about it, I will be trading the sciatica for muscle soreness.

This being said, I feel the surgury was a success.



  • Hi Woody,
    I have no experience with back surgery, but I have had 2 neck surgeries in the past year. In my experience, I had a 6 inch incision from the base of my skull down my neck. As we all know, our muscles are all connected and reliant on one another. I am now 11 weeks post-op and most of my muscle tightness is between my shoulder blades. My physical therapist and massage therapist told me that my weak neck muscles are causing tension in my shoulders, which are then pulling on my scapulas, which are then pulling on my rhomboids (between the shoulder blades). I had 2 massages last week (one day after the other) and it did wonders!
    I know that massages can get spendy, but think of it as a small short term investment in healing your back and preventing injuries in adjoining areas to your surgery.
    Happy Healing!
    April 2011 C1-C2 Fusion (Brooks wiring)
    January 2012 C1-C2 Revision Fusion (Harms Technique)
    2010 - current: Trigger Point Injections, Epidural Injections, Bilateral C2-C3 Radiofrequency Ablations
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