Fitness Training Help Needed

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by jdbenson, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. jdbenson

    jdbenson One of the Regulars

    Cincinnnati, OH
    On 12/1/10, I had surgery on my lower back...specifically, I had a Lower Lumbar Posterior Fusion between the L4 and L5 vertebrae. The disk between them had degenerated, and my L4 vertebra was sliding forward over the top of the L5, pinching the spinal column and causing me a world o' pain. Fortunately the surgery went very well. After 3 days and could already walk and climb stairs so they sent me home. My intial rehab was simply walking as much as I could without pain, and by the end of Dec, I was walking 2-3 miles a day. I returned to work in mid-Jan, and started physical therapy 4 weeks ago, and will end tomorrow. I have to say that's where I get nervous. I'm enjoying the monitored guided aspect of this recovery, but I don't have the money to keep paying for a trainer.

    Does anyone know of a good source of info on training after back surgery?

    Any resource or info would be great - another forum, a web-site, a book, movie, blog...anything to keep me on the straight and narrow and avoiding more damage to my spine.
  2. Romy Overdorp

    Romy Overdorp One of the Regulars

    The Netherlands
    I would say, just ask your therapist what to do. Only a specialist can judge your current condition. Internet is not always reliable (as you probably know already) and the wrong workout may hurt you and you're back to square one.
    But that's just my opinion. Hope you'll recover soon :)
  3. Pompidou

    Pompidou One Too Many

    Plainfield, CT
    If you were asking about general fitness training ideas, I could dig up the resources I came across when I started going to the gym. Spines are a very risky thing to give ignorant theoretical advice on (a specialty of mine), so I won't. I think Romy has the right idea. Exercises after spinal surgery is the domain of a medical professional, and even then, I'd be worried.
  4. 1961MJS

    1961MJS My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Norman Oklahoma
    Hi, The physical therapist should have told you what you can and can't do after you're done with therapy. They must want more of your insurance money... If you get another back problem, they get to sell you more therapy...

    If it were me, I'd join a YMCA or other gym that has weight lifting machines and use light weights on those, steadily increasing less than 5 pounds every two weeks for at least a year. I would NEVER do squats, dead-lifts, or use any free weights. I know too many people who can't do anything because they screwed up their backs somehow.

    This ain't professional advice, but then you DID get your money's worth. I hope you can get back into shape.
  5. Burton

    Burton One of the Regulars

    I agree with the other posters that you want to be extremely careful with any exercises after such a back surgery. I say that knowing in reality if I were in your place I would probably at some point push things hard and then see what happend. I'm sure you're a more sane person and will get the best professional advice you can and go from there. Its great that you are able to do the walking that you have and if you did that on a regular basis could certainly stay in shape.
  6. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    I'd specifically ask your therapist if you could swim. Swimming is a great way to work many muscles at once, and you can change the speed and the length of time/laps to fit your ability level. When I had (minor) back problems, I found swimming helpful to strengthen the muscles in my back. Make sure to gently stretch before and after. Like others have said, ask your doctor(s) to see what they think. (No diving though- gently lower yourself into the pool ;))

    Your therapist may be able to give you those bands and other things to use at home to keep doing the exercises you have been doing with them. I'd ask them to help you plan out a schedule (how many days a week, how many reps, etc.) and a timeline for when you might be able to go to the next level (and how you know you can go to the next level). Any decent therapist will help you with this- I met with a therapist once in college and I could only afford one session (insurance would not cover it) and he spent an hour and half teaching me exercises and helping to develop a schedule so I could do it at home. If you have been seeing this person for a while, they owe it to you to help you beyond your sessions.

    If you therapist is not willing to help you with a schedule, I'd take pen and paper to your next session and write down your exercises, number of reps, etc.
  7. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    A coworker of mine, who has chronic lower back pain, has had good results with Pilates. She uses a personal trainer for all her sessions so that she does everything just right. I'm sure it's expensive, but if you have a delicate spine, it may be money well spent. Whatever you do, be extremely careful and stop immediately if you're in pain.

    Two things I think are typically overlooked in recovery are adequate rest and diet. Unless you're an athlete, one or two workouts a week are plenty. As for diet: I had surgery that didn't heal for 11 years until I started taking massive doses of zinc (115 mg per day). Your needs may vary. And I've heard many people say that their joint pain disappeared or mitigated when they eliminated wheat. If you have inflammation, that and krill oil may help it. You have to take krill oil for about a month to for results. It doesn't work as fast as typical pain relievers, and it's more expensive, but it's easier on your liver and it's a strong antioxidant as well.

    Best of luck to you.
  8. Romy Overdorp

    Romy Overdorp One of the Regulars

    The Netherlands
    My dad had a hernia several years ago and he could only swim in warm water. I don't know about the pools in America, but here we mostly have cold water baths. So he had to do that within the practice of the physiotherapist.
    But our health insurance is very different from yours, so he was able to do that without paying a lot of money.

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