Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Is it safe to bend over like this years after lumbar discectomy?

BoertjieBBoertjie Posts: 6
edited 12/19/2015 - 12:13 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone!

I've joined this forum to try to set my mind at ease regarding my mother's way of bending over after her back surgery. Here's the story...

15 years ago she picked up a heavy bucket of water and injured her lower back. After 3 months of extreme pain in her leg and thigh, and visiting several kinds of health care practitioners, she went to a neurosurgeon. The diagnosis was a slipped disc between the L3 and L4 (if I remember correctly). He did a surgery on her and removed part of the disc. He also warned her that if she injured herself again, spinal fusion would be the next step.

Her recovery went very well. The only remaining complications today (15 years later) is that her left leg is weakened. She hasn't visited the surgeon in many years.

She is vigilant about taking proper care about her back. She avoids lifting any heavy object and keeps her back straight. She also weighs very little...45kg. Yes she is a very small woman. However, lately I've noticed she is bending over like this...


Although she keeps her back straight (or very close to straight), I am absolutely worried sick that her bending over so far that her back is at times horizontal might injure her again.

Can anyone tell me if it is safe to bend over the way pictured above after a lumbar discectomy? Or at least point me to info that might answer my question?

I've searched around this website, but couldn't find a specific answer...
Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
    . Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
    . How long have you been using this?
    . Results
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

  • - Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
    - Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
    - Tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc
    - General pieces of valuable information

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 12/16/15 20:14 est



  • BoertjieBBoertjie Posts: 6
    edited 12/17/2015 - 10:36 AM
    No-one? What have your doctors told you about bending forward? Any specific do's and don'ts?
  • My PT told me I should probably never bend like that again.. I think this all really depends on each individual's situation and how their spine and general fitness is.
    L4/5/S1 scar tissue removal surgery, plus unexpected L4/5 microdiscectomy #2 October 2015
    L4/5 microdiscectomy May 2015
    2-level ADR C4-6 (Mobi-C) February 2015
  • RunnerHKT said:
    I bent like that after a discectomy.
    I'm curious... between which vertebrae was your discectomy? And how severe was your condition before the surgery?
  • brandis77 said:
    My PT told me I should probably never bend like that again.. I think this all really depends on each individual's situation and how their spine and general fitness is.
    Also curious... how severe was your condition and between which vertebrae was your discectomy?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    So, even if it was a L2/L3, L4/L5, L5/S1 surgery, non-invasive or complicated the final word on how to bend and how not to bend needs to be
    discussed with your doctor and your physical therapists.

    The stick figure you provided initially, my physical therapist would scream if I tried that. That would have been true at my first L4/L5
    Hemilaminectomy , to my last ACDF. For myself, I have to always bend my legs and keep my back straight, never forward.
    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
  • I bent like that after a discectomy. I actually did dead lifts after my discectomy (not the week after, or the month after). But... if you are concerned, then she should speak to her physician.... the picture you show is of her bending at the hips, which is actually the way that we are taught to bend. If you pursue the site a bit you 'll learn that even some people with complete spinal fusions are able to completely touch their palms to the ground when bent over.

    the reason you won't find a definitive answer is that all patients are very different. Some people recover very well from surgery and some do not and even people who see the same surgeon and have the same surgery tend to get slightly different instructions based on their specific pathology.
  • brandis77bbrandis77 Posts: 195
    edited 12/18/2015 - 7:06 PM
    My herniation was L4/5. My MRI was done at the ER and I never ended up seeing it, but within 2 weeks of the herniation (I felt it happen) and less than 24hrs after seeing my surgeon, I was under the knife.
    L4/5/S1 scar tissue removal surgery, plus unexpected L4/5 microdiscectomy #2 October 2015
    L4/5 microdiscectomy May 2015
    2-level ADR C4-6 (Mobi-C) February 2015
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,458
    Ages ago when I learned "body mechanics"...not sure if it's even called that now, re stick figure...that is never the way for even the healthy spine to position itself.
    Even into my healthy twenties, I could do that position only with my head resting in the wall in front of me.

    If an object is that far ahead for need to reach, feet need to be closer and bent knees to keep back aligned and upright..
    As was mentioned above.

    The bending pictured..is still bending the lumbar area of spine and cervical spine could become strained and or out of alignment as the head is being used to assist balance. And our heads our quite a weighty part of our anatomy.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • BoertjieBBoertjie Posts: 6
    edited 12/19/2015 - 12:14 AM
    Thank you for your replies!

    Yes, I expected that the do's and don'ts would vary from one person to another based on their unique case.

    I was also told by someone else I've asked that my mother best avoided bending so low and that she should rather kneel if she needed to go that low.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences!
  • Savage said:
    The bending pictured..is still bending the lumbar area of spine and cervical spine could become strained and or out of alignment as the head is being used to assist balance. And our heads our quite a weighty part of our anatomy.
    This is my exact thoughts on the matter. Even if one consciously tries to keep one's back straight, I cannot see how the lumbar spine is not bending at least to some degree when one bends like that.

    Even though all of us realize that the do's and don'ts vary from patient to patient, it seems that most of you who replied so far agree that the bending pictured is dangerous. Most of the replies so far confirm my fears.
Sign In or Register to comment.