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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

First of all, take everything you read and/or hear about on this board and other online sources with a grain of salt. While we can offer some general tips, we don't know the specifics of your surgery, your individual issues, etc. I saw somewhere in my reading earlier today a mention of nerve glide exercises and to find them online. I would really encourage you to not proceed with any type of stretching or exercise without first consulting with your surgeon or the PT the surgeon refers you to. in the early days of recovery, it is very easy to move the wrong way and cause yourself much more harm than good.

The best exercise you can be doing right now is walking. For all the reasons you mention, it is much better at this point to take a number of short walks during each 24-hour period, even if it is walking around your home. I had my first fusion in Jan in the frozen northland and I couldn't risk walking I just walked the first floor. You are not walking for aerobic exercise or for endurance or even for building strength.

Walking is the best way to stretch out the spinal nerves. This helps to keep the scar tissue from attaching to a nerve as it grows in and forms post surgery. This is very important during the first twelve weeks. So you want to walk short distances on a flat level surface often. You do not want to walk so far that you are tired out, and especially not so far that you end up creating a flare in the sciatic nerve or causing issues with the SI joints and the piriformis muscles in the buttocks.

When I was fitted for my back brace, the PT gave me some simple exercises to do with light weights using my arms. I was supposed to do them while I was waiting for my surgery and then post surgery as soon as I was up to it. So I did that and walked. I wasn't allowed to go in the water for quite a long time, but that is a good option as soon as you're able.

Some people complain a lot about feeling tight all over after surgery. I've never had the problem, at least not much. Can you do simple things like pointing and extending your feet, ankle circles, etc?

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