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ACDF C6/C7 and Ab Exercises

DeniseO_oDDeniseO_o Posts: 115
edited 07/30/2015 - 7:44 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Are there any safe ones? I'm scared to death to strain my upper body so is it even possible to work your ab's while recovering from this type of surgery?

I'm 10 weeks out, btw.

Nobody on the forum is medically qualified to advise on post op exercises


Before you try any supplement, herb, over the counter item, exercise program, mechanical aid, brace, etc always consult with your doctor to make sure you get their approval.
Some of these products may be very effective, but no two individuals or medical conditions are alike. What works for one, may cause trouble for another..

Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator

ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
...and it was the best decision of my life :-)


  • Denise, I am able to do leg lifts, bicycles, and scissor lifts while lying on my back. The trick is to keep your upper body completely relaxed. I also try to tense my ab muscles while I sit. You can even do small butt lifts while on your back to work your lower abs. Or if you have an exercise ball, hold it with your feet and lift your legs. Works your abs great. Just try to keep your neck as relaxed as possible.
    My low back has been going out a lot lately so I've had to do some ab work to support my low back. I've been doing all of those with no aggravation to my neck. I'm 14 weeks post op. So just a little ahead of you. Hope this helps.
    I wouldn't do traditional crunches as those put a lot of stress on your neck.
  • Last week, I asked my therapist about doing sit ups, she said no, "may be" half sit ups, I just had a feeling she didn't like the idea. I am almost 4 months post op, 2 level ACDF. I think Adela's idea is right, make sure you upper body is relax... or ask a therapist.
  • My PT told me that whatever exercises I do to always keep my chin tucked to my chest and try to make the top of my head tall whilst I am it - it takes the load off the neck muscles! It makes the exercises harder but you feel it in the muscles you are working and not the neck as a result.
    Works for me. My PT told me that is she could tape my chin to my chest to help the exercises get done in that posture she would!!
    C6/7 ACDF 18th April 2015 after 8 years of mucking around pretending it was something else...
  • I can't tuck my chin to my chest anymore!! lol :)
  • All great ideas you guys, thank you! I can finally to chin to chest :-D It's ear to shoulder that I can't do. Or even looking all the way back.

    Adella, I'm getting on the floor tomorrow AM to try those out! I never even thought of having your upper body at rest....geez. The things we find out when we simply just ask :-)

    Thanks y'all.
    ACDF C6/C7 on 05/20/15
    ...and it was the best decision of my life :-)
  • Denise, as for your PT statement, that you're opting out. I considered opting out too until I realized, I couldn't hold the phone with my shoulder and head ( ear to shoulder) or backing my car up was very challenging, and that's when I realized I better do PT. Looks like you can't do ear to shoulder either or look back, I feel we kinda need to be able to do that. Maybe reconsider PT so you get back all your range of motions. Im 14 weeks post op and I still can't do those motions. I don't think you get then back without therapy. Just my two cents.
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