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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
12/3/14 8:42 P

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I have had surgeries that didn't sent me to PT after back surgery. I have had doctors who have sent me to PT for 3-5 months, 3 times a week with exercises to do for life. But in this post, none of us are doctors so the exercises that were okay for me may not be right for you. Recently I have been reading that no type of sit up is okay.
I had prescriptions to take it very slowly and instead the therapist tore both my hip labrums which they wont surgically repair since I can barely walk now.

So I guess I don't know what you are looking for, the answer is yes, sometimes to 1.
Yes to 2 and 3.

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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BOPPY_'s Photo BOPPY_ SparkPoints: (146,999)
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12/3/14 4:11 P

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I'm puzzled by some of the answers, here.

* Did not the surgeon prescribe physical therapy following surgery?

* Did not the "prescription" include a time sequence of start, phases, and end?

* Did not the physical therapist prescribe and practice with you specific exercises, repetitions , loads, etc?

Lee

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BLAZINGSWORD's Photo BLAZINGSWORD SparkPoints: (32,657)
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8/23/14 10:50 A

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I had back surgery in 2011. Mine was done with a bone graft of the L5 and S1.

And yes, it takes some time to heal. It's been 3 years since I had my surgery and so I let time heal me. Plus, I was very careful in following the doctor's orders and instructions.

Each person will be different as their circumstances and situations are different as well. So I truly hope that you will give yourself the time you need to heal. That is very important. And you need to be good to yourself and care for yourself.

As many will tell you, you only have one body to live in and how you care for it now will set the course for many days to come.

The stability ball is good for sitting on which will help strengthen your core. So if you are watching tv, or sitting to read a book, this is something you can do.

Edited by: BLAZINGSWORD at: 8/23/2014 (10:55)
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DAISY443's Photo DAISY443 SparkPoints: (2)
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2/24/13 11:47 A

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Spark People has some good chair exercises that may work for you! Let me know if you can't find them and I will get a link to you. Good luck!

Team leader "All screwed up!!(For those with Spinal fusions)


Just do it!!


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2/23/13 10:44 A

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Oh, and I forgot to add, I am 51 and have never been an athletic type ever in my life. If I can do it, chances are you can do at least some of it. Many prayers and blessings to all of you!

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2/23/13 10:42 A

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You are right, we did get off track for the original question. When you are healed enough and have the go ahead, there are a lot of exercises that strengthen the core and work the abs. Even simple balancing type of exercises are great and a very good place to start. Pretend that you are walking on a high wire putting one foot in front of the other. Standing, using a chair for balance, you can raise a leg many different ways, back, to the side, front and raise your knee, do these in a series. When you build up, you can also lift your knee more to the side while pulling your arm down. You can stand holding solid on the bottom and get your torso moving side to side. You can do standing crunches. Also a great exercise is to start working on push-ups using a chair. You can start out very easy keeping one leg straight but the other leg bent, keeping most of your body over the chair hanging onto the seat going down and up with the arms. As you progress and get stronger, you can have both legs straight but spread out, or even just hold in that position and not go up and down. It really does work your abs holding it there. Many of these things I have learned from Zumba Fitness. You can go to www.zumba.com and look for a Gold class in your area or Aqua Zumba. As you advance, look for a Zumba Sentao class, that uses the chair and it is awesome! Zumba is great because it is to music so you don't even feel like you are working out because it is fun, and with all classes, you start where you are and do what you can. As you keep going, you will get stronger and able to do more and more.

As far as the muscle spasms, I don't know a lot there, but I did have spasms right after surgery and they did give me a medication for that. I don't think that you would need it long term but maybe until you are able to strengthen the muscles. I could be wrong there but am thinking positive. I have 9 vertebrae fused and I'm getting stronger and more able to do things as I go. There are some things that I will never be able to do, but I can do more than a lot of people that don't have any back problems. I wish everyone the best of luck finding out what works well for you, there are options out there.

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2/23/13 10:16 A

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After reading what I think is most of the responses, I'll go back to WSEARCHER's original question, since I have similar questions regarding abs.
I'm 50+ and have hooks, rods, pins and nearly a complete fusion.
The only thing I believe I can safely do is modified yoga. There are lots of poses that I can't do and too many that if I tried to perfect, would only stretch or overburden tendons.
I do remember that after my surgery 20+ years ago that it took me 2 years before I felt 90%. I started out though swimming with a flotation device since I couldn't twist. I mean swimming as in a lot of water walking, doggy paddling, water running, back strokes and side strokes. Of course I built up to all of this.
I have noticed though, if I try to overdo the yoga or any exercise, I will get back spasms. I'd never had one before, but all I can say is that once they start for me, they can come in a series and last for days. Water massage helped to alleviate those but that was costly and time consuming (but worked!).
Other than yoga and modified swimming, I believe that's all I have to offer. You guys are right- sit ups and crunches (and push ups for me) are out of the question.
So if anyone gets more answers, please fill us in!


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1/26/13 9:50 A

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Kathy, I know it is a struggle to be laid up. After my surgery, I looked at it as time to read books and talk on the phone. I got through it. It is so hard to be so helpless. At the time it seemed as though life was passing me by because there was so much that I couldn't do. When I did start exercising, it was also slow, I was starting to think that I didn't have any muscle at all, it was taking so long to see improvement. But it did all pay off. Now I'm a Zumba Instructor besides my full-time job in an elementary school. I can do so much! Hang in there, that drive to do things will serve you well when you do get the go-ahead, just take it one step at a time.

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DAISY443's Photo DAISY443 SparkPoints: (2)
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1/26/13 9:00 A

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It is a long, slow process, but taking the time and doing as the doctor recommends pays off in the long term! Good for you for doing as he suggests. You may find that the knee will improve as your posture becomes more normal, too! Keep up the good work!

Team leader "All screwed up!!(For those with Spinal fusions)


Just do it!!


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MAYKATCOOPER's Photo MAYKATCOOPER Posts: 947
1/26/13 8:49 A

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I will see the surgeon again in two weeks and will at that time be almost 4 1/2 mos out from surgery. Am only allowed to walk and try very short spurts on the Elliptical which has now been removed because I ended up double tearing my meniscus in Dec resulting in knee surgery. I am not allowed to do anything else. They said, for core and abs, just try to hold in your stomach gently and hold body straight while walking. Well, snow on the ground for the past month and the knee made even walking impossible until last week. I also began driving again last week. Sooo, walking in the house and accompanying my husband to the grocery where I will walk the aisles and point at what he needs to buy for us... mostly Smart Ones frozen meals. LOL. What a life. And so we all take one day at a time and push only as the doctor directs. Pushing any harder than that could result in heart breaking and very painful set backs. I pray for patience and physical obedience. I am so used to being athletic in my movements. Smile. Now I am working at knitting and working at loving it. Learning the new skill of 47" circular magic loop knitting two socks at the same time has helped keep my mind off of my core and my pain. When all else fails I just go lie down. Gentle hugs to all. Kathy

A smile can make it all feel a little better. So, I go and smile at myself in the mirror. Shallow or what? But it works... My name is Kathy and I'm Pennsylvania.


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BROWNBROWN4's Photo BROWNBROWN4 Posts: 17
12/3/12 11:49 A

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Reading your post, I would have sworn I had wrote it. We have exactly the same diagnosis'. I had my fusion and laminectomy 3 months ago. My PT gave me some exercises to do once the Dr OK'd me and they are: curl ups: lay down with hands supporting under lower back and one knee flexed, raise only head and shoulders off ground, pause and then back down, alternating bent knees. Bird dog: get down on all fours and alternate lifting one arm and opposite leg up and straight out, hold for 7-8 seconds then alternate other arm and leg. And side bridge: lie on your side with bent knees and hold yourself up with elbow right below your shoulder, hold for 10 sec, do on both sides as well. Also, just lay down and suck it in and hold it as long as possible. Another one, lay down and push opposite arm and leg into ground and hold for 20 seconds and alternate, while keeping stomach in. Good luck, we both have work to do!

ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
12/1/12 8:23 P

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I do know how you feel. I lost the ability too walk two years ago. After severe pain and lots of doctors, I finally found one who figured out the problem. I am now walking 2 times a dya and still on heavy pain meds and breakthrough, but they work, AS LONG AS I no longer do all the stuff to help out around the house, things I used to do for my parents. You are very right at how frustratng it is to watch life by the sidelines. I understand having to do things. Years ago, I was the main caregiver to multiple grandparents. I was lifting my grandmother out of the chairs watching my own body break down. Her dying is what saved my back at the time. Now, I couldn't help even if I was the last person at home. Extremely frustrating!

If youwant to talk privately, feel free to contact me on sparkmail.

Kimberly

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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12/1/12 1:57 A

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My pain was better after the 2nd surgery in 2006. But I have had to do lifting on occasion and some things I should not have done, now the pain is back. It is mostly my leg pain that I can't take. I don't sleep enough due to leg pain. My husband is disabled with RA so I do every thing that needs doing and I live next door to my Mom to help her when she needs it. I can't afford to be down!! I like to garden but had to sit out this year due to pain. I think I can still do some things then realize I can't and get frustrated! I guess a lot of people with chronic pain feel that way.

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11/30/12 7:37 P

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That is wonderful advice! I was on pain meds for just a short time to get me through the pain after surgery. I don't wish that kind of pain on anyone, but yet, there needs to be someway to help the people that make the rules and regulations understand what it is like and there needs to be a better way to get the meds to someone who needs them. I think that I did very well getting off of them, but man did I have a hard time getting what I needed. Keep fighting for yourself! Never give up!

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11/30/12 5:10 P

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Great advice from Onbeachside! Good luck!

Team leader "All screwed up!!(For those with Spinal fusions)


Just do it!!


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ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
11/30/12 2:37 A

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Oh, that gets me soooo angry!!! Those damn doctors need to be in real pain or have a family member in real pain. I am assuming because of you needing to leave work due to pain that getting a different doctor is probably very hard. If you must see the same uncaring doctor, think about printing out the link I gave you. Keep a pain journal showing when the pain is the worst, when it is okay. Give both good and bad and be very truthful. If you notice something that makes it worse or better, document that. Then take information in hand and stand up for yourself. If he calls you a drug seeker, ask him who you can see who might pay attention to you. If your pain levels are at the point of considering suicide, you need to make that clear to him. Point out that if you are taking too much toroidal (if you are exceeding) that is because it is crap for your pain. If you need it for pain, you should never be "getting high". You should just feel less pain. I live in Florida, which until last year was the pill supplier for the USA. Family doctors and internists almost all refuse to prescribe narcotics. Luckily, I have been with my doctor for ten years now. Since ,y issues started when I was young, 14, I still live with my patents. So for me, my father has accompanied me to my appointments when we are discussing pain medication. That certainly helps to reinforce I am not a drug seeker. If you are married or even if not, find someone to come with you to help be your advocate. I know when I was a kid, I was taught to always be polite. When the doctor came in and offered greetings of "hi, how are you?" I would reply with a smile and say fine and you. It wasn't until my Dad told me now is not the time for pleasantries. You have a few precious seconds to get your point across. Now when asked that question, if I am in pain or most of the time in pain. I'd answer "I am miserable, society wouldn't let a dog be in the pain I'm in". And this is the other reason for an advocate. If you can't say it an advocate usually can say something like, "She is in tears a lot of the time. I know how much she is hating living life on the sidelines, is there something you can do to give her a quality of life back?".

This is a lot for me to say, but I truly understand being in awful pain. My internist tried so hard to get me out of pain while they tried recently to find out what was wrong with me. He had me on several very strong opiates. It wasn't until I had surgery that the pain meds made a major dent in the severity of pain. In fact, I have dropped the dosage a lot since the surgery. But my doctor understood. I learned from my father at his appointment, our doctor told him that he (the doctor) knew we had been in a race for time to find the problem. The doctor really thought (and correctly so) that I wasn't long for this world in the pain I was in.

Please fight for yourself and bring reinforcements as necessary. You have the right to live pretty much pain free. Best of luck to you! emoticon

Kimberly

Edited by: ONBEACHSIDE at: 11/30/2012 (02:39)
Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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11/30/12 12:51 A

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I used percocet for several years but a new doctor would not prescribe it. I switched to tramadol but also had to stop working. I told the Dr that was what kept me working but it didn't make a difference. If you ask for stronger pain meds you are an addict. At least until the Dr gets to know you a little better. I am on SSD now and broke. I would like to get in shape and try a part time job. I am thinking of asking about a rehab or exercise program.


ONBEACHSIDE's Photo ONBEACHSIDE Posts: 3,297
11/29/12 9:23 P

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I think you have a three for here. None of us are alike and I too highly recommend checking with your doctor and /or his nurse,PA. Make sure that if you get a referral to PT that you make it clear all that continues to be problems for you. Never let anyone push you beyond what you feel is right for you. There is no one but you who knows what is happening in your body.

Personally, I am in long term rehab to walk right again and to sit again. I do do crunches and the hookyling 100. However, I know many people told never to do crunches again. That is why we say check.

As for the pain, do the doctors understand that it just takes the edge off. I like to follow a pain chart for numbers and give it to my doctor so we are on the same page of where my pain is. Suffering helps no one. I hope it is not that bad but here is a link to a pain chart I like to use www.tipna.org/info/documents/Compara
ti
vePainScale.htm
. Good luck in finding the exercises that are for you.

Kimberly

Enjoy life when you can, as life changes when you least expect it!!!


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11/29/12 8:37 P

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Yes, ask your doctor and ask to be referred to a physical therapist that can give you specific exercises to strengthen core muscles that support your back. Let them know that you are serious about being in the best shape that you can be. Be sure to follow their exercises, do them often. Before my surgery, there was a quick exercise that the physical therapist wanted me to do every hour if possible. I hope you find something that will help!

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DAISY443's Photo DAISY443 SparkPoints: (2)
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11/29/12 2:13 P

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I highly recommend that you check with your doctor before beginning any core exercises. One thing I think, if he approves, that you can safely do, is simply lie on your back and contract the abdominal muscles for a few seconds, then relax and repeat. Good luck!

Team leader "All screwed up!!(For those with Spinal fusions)


Just do it!!


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WSEARCHER's Photo WSEARCHER SparkPoints: (0)
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11/29/12 2:49 A

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What do other members do for ab exercise? I can not do crunchs and sit-ups so what are some other things to do to strengthen abs for a strong core?

I had two surgery's on L4, 5, S1 with artificial disc and rod, screws and also fusion. I have bulging discs in upper back as well. I have DDD and some nerve damage which causes leg pain and loss of some feeling below knees and R foot causing foot drop. I also was dx with fibromialga. (sp?)

I take tramadol and IB for pain but it only takes the edge off.

I would just like to find some core strengthing exercises that will not agravate my back.

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