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Preventative Maintenance questions

I had a neck fusion on my C2/C3 about 7 years ago and have never done any preventative maintenance since my surgery. I am a very active guy, and I mostly road bike and whitewater kayak for exercise. Recently, I played basketball a couple of times and my neck started bothering me as a result of that activity. My question is, what exercises are good for my condition and what additional steps would someone take to help prevent future neck issues? (i.e Yoga, computer screen height at work, sleeping on back, etc.)

Also, what activities do I need to avoid?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,832
    every person is unique, their surgery is/was unique and their recovery is also that way. 7 years after surgery, for the most part things are the way they are going to be forever.

    I had my C4/C5/C6/C7 ACDFs (not at the same time) with titanium plates /screws done between 1994 and 2000. So I am as good as it gets. I rarely have any cervical problems, unless I do something that is going to create a flare up. What I do have to deal with everyday, is the lack of side to side and up and down range of motion. Between scar tissue, the plate, both shoulders totally replaced with implants, I can only go so far.

    But here are the things that will cause a flare up for me

    • - Pulling, as in raking leaves, or raking the snow of a roof (like this week) or other activities in which I have to pull things to me
      - Overhead work. If I need to reach up , extend my arms to get something.
      - Looking up for any period of time ... Star gazing, Painting a ceiling, etc
    Those are the actions that can potentially create a flare up for me. I just always have to be aware that when I do any of those, I have to limit the time I am doing that.

    Biking and kayaking should never really create a problem for cervical patients. BUT , playing basketball sure can.
    Its the jumping up and coming down hard that can trigger something. Just thing about your cervical discs being in one neat line, but then you jump on and then come down. That neat row of cervical discs is going to be compressed to some extent. That will be the start of the problem.

    Another warning for cervical patients. Computer usage! Spending time at the computer, regardless of monitor height will put some strain on your cervical area. Right now, I've only been on the computer for about an hour, and I am beginning to get that burning pain between my shoulder blades at the base of my neck. Time to stop, or at least get away from the computer and do some stretches.

    So, overall I think that you yourself will find out what exercises are good and those that are bad for you. Listen to your body, hear what it has to say. I can say a lot of words, books can tell you the dos and donts, but only you really will know for sure.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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