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Touching your toes - post lumbar fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I was wondering how many of you have been asked to lean and bend forwards to touch your toes as an assessment of how you are progressing?

At my PT session this week i was forward and back like a bobbin and today I am really flared up. X(

My previous PT said this was a no no for us fusion patients and so I am concerned having been asked to repeat this movement after each and every soft tissue massage / stretch.
My nerves are pretty reactive to any slight movement so I am not a happy person today.

Your ideas/ suggestions appreciated. Thanks


  • I haven't started P.T. yet... But I can only touch my knees when I bend down. I don't come anywhere near my toes. Far stretch from when I used to be able to put my palms on the floor. Lol.
  • Well neither can I yet - mind you i am not far off but am hypermobile so this is not really good.

    You get the idea tho, leaning forward as far as you can - sets me off buttock, groins right down into my porr raging toes. :&
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  • Oh, definitely!! Just listening to it sounds painful. I don't want to think about it. Lol. Maybe you can refuse. Like a little kid refusing vegetables at dinner. Just fold your arms, put on your mad face, and shake your head no!
  • please consult your doctor immediately. I was asked to do this before it was recognized I had a disc problem....in fact, that was one of the clues to tell us it was a disc. I can just feel what your describing in my memory...UGH! You are either aggrevating a disc or have another disc that may be problematic. Again, consult your physician and also ask him if you should seek a new PT?
  • you see, i wonder if my current or ongoing issues are another disc blown out OR (this is the question) can it be ongoing irritation from the removal of the spacer. See the spacer is GONE and i understand the nerves are irritated but my SLR and symptoms like bowel movements and sneezing = bad leg flare, instant!

    I'll pull back. I'm the one who always says trust your instincts and mine are saying NO! =))
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  • just wondering....why did they have to remove the spacer. By spacer, do you mean that they removed the cage? I'm nosey, sorry. Either way, I wouldn't continue PT until I talked personally with your surgeon and let him know what's going on. Please keep us posted. I have no idea how far post op you are....can you take Motrin yet? Rotated with Vicodin, it can ease a flare, but again, consult your surgeon before doing that.
  • O:) Just say no. All kidding aside, no one knows our bodies or how we feel better then we do. When my physical therapist has me do something that hurts I tell her and I make suggestions. For instance I was recently asked to do a neck exercise that had me laying on my back, chin tucked and then lift my head slightly off the table and hold for a count of 10. This might be a great exercise but not starting with a hold of 10 seconds. Way too painful when I did it and way too painful the next day. My suggestion was that we try building up and start with a count of 2 or 3 and I only do it on a day that I am not having any type of shoulder or neck flare up because that makes it worse. Somethings that work for other folks may not work for me and some things work for me that may not work for others. The one thing I do is discuss things with my PT and make suggestions that I expect to be heard and listened to. I like the place I go to because this is what I get.
  • been asked to bend forward, backward and to each side but not on a repetitive basis. Simply for the Dr or PT to assess the range of movement.

    Sara O:)
  • How far post surgery are you? I'm just past 2 weeks post op and I'm doing well to walk and do simple household chores like the laundry!!!!!! Kathy in Atlanta
  • IALW, has your doctor lifted your no BLT restrictions? I would think if you are still on no BLT, you shouldn't even do this for an assessment. My doc lifted my restrictions at 8 weeks and I went for my PT eval. I hadn't yet bent forward and he had me try slowly, carefully as part of the assessment of ROM. It didn't hurt. I was never asked to do it again until my last PT visit for a reassessment of my progress. I asked my PT if I should purposefully try to bend forward to pick things up etc to keep my ROM. He said no, use your legs, bend your knees, avoid bending over. He said we have enough exercises to stretch our muscles in other safer positions that are not risky for our backs. For instance lying on back bringing knee up, or using a belt over foot while on back to stretch hamstrings. While I want to keep or increase my ROM, I don't want to blow out another level either, so I plan to be very careful. Listen to your body and your doctor. >:D< Cali-Sue
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