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Aqua Therapy after ALIF L5S1?

I am 7 weeks post op from an ALIF L5S1 and my surgeon wants me to start aqua therapy in the next week or so. Has anyone else tried this therapy and were the results worth the co-pays I will have to pay? I am still in a lot of pain, but have been back at work since 2 weeks post op ( I know I was crazy). I work for a dentist and sit most of the day and needless to say my back is killing me by the time I get home. I have cut my hours some the past 2 weeks but am still in pain.
I guess I thought it would be better at this point, but after reading so many other posts, I guess I am still very early into the recovery stage.
I'd love any advice on what type of therapy worked for you. My surgeon said I could see the physical therapist I was seeing before I went in for surgery, but I want to do the right thing at this stage. Right now, I can't even imagine someone manipulating my back, so would aqua therapy be a kinder form of therapy?

Also, did anyone continue to wear their back brace still at this point in recovery. My dr said I could wean off it except when sitting for long periods, but I don't know if the brace is hindering my recovery or helping it. Any advice would be appreciated.
Thank you.


  • and the restrictions of your surgeon. He has done these types of surgery many times over and knows what a patient should be doing after the surgery or you risk endangering the outcome. Aqua therapy allows the muscles to work without causing overdo strain on them and offering resistance at the same time.
    Slow and steady is the type of progress you want to see post op. 7 weeks is still considered early days, and while we have to push somewhat, overdoing it can cause major problems long term.
  • Aqua therapy is wonderful! I felt like I had better results in the water than from the land based PT I had. Two weeks Post Op and you went back to work??? Sitting too much will cause just as much pain as over doing it. In fact, it can cause the fusion to not heal correctly.

    I'd suggest you speak with your doctor about how much time you spend sitting just to be on the safe side.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Being in the water and being weightless is wonderful. Whenever my back hurts or feels tight I try to get in an extra swim to work out the kinks. It always works.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • After my 2 lamenectomies in 2008 and thoracic spine surgery in May 2012 I started water PT and after a few weeks my therapist showed me what II needed to work on and I used my membership at my local gym for PT. Membership was 40 a month compared to 40 twice a week for co-pay. Not sure if this would work for you but might be worth bringing up with your surgeon. Good luck with your recovery :)

  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 11/10/2013 - 10:20 PM
    Water therapy has been the best therapy I have been through. Six spine surgeries and each time a few weeks of water therapy. If done has PT is expensive. I have found that I use a artritis class done by certified PTs with a certificate from the arthritis foundation.
    It helps so much I have been going two years this time. Twice a week for one hour. I pay $35 for each six week course and it's very well worth it. If I do it through my insurance they pay for 12 days and I have a fourty dollar copay each day. Do the math this works out to three dollars a visit. No matter what the inconvinece is it's worth it and I have missed only twice in two years. Very much worth looking into.
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