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How much walking post lumbar surgery?

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Unread 11-18-2012, 10:47 PM   #1
lal209
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Question How much walking post lumbar surgery?

Hi, guys! I just underwent open posterior laminectomies of the L2-S1 on 13 Nov and have a question about how much walking I should be doing now. The surgery went well and the pain has been well-managed for the most part. By the time I left the hospital (Saturday) I was walking the hall 3-4 times a day going about 500-700 feet each time. I was tired and straining by the end of the walk, but the additional pain usually subsided in 1/2 hour or so. I am using a lumbarsacro brace and also doing the limited exercises they gave me to do.

Today at home, I walked twice outside going about 1200ft each time taking about 20-25 minutes for the walk. (I hadn't realized it was that far at the time.) I had planned on walking about 4 times a day, but after the second one was pretty pooped and hurting. It took about an 1-2 hours for the pain to decrease back to "normal", and my back has been much stiffer when getting up or sitting down all evening.

The instructions I got were very general re walking as much as possible, and didn't really provide any guidelines. Doing internet research I've come across a few guidelines, suggesting that one should walk 5-10 blocks a day. Of course, it doesn't give a distance for what constitutes a block, which I've found run anywhere from 100-900 ft. I've also seen here on this forum where many discuss the need for walking and basing it on pain levels.

So my questions are -- is it better to walk farther fewer times a day or to walk more often, but shorter distances? If I base distance on pain levels, how do I judge what is an acceptable level of pain? I realize that some of this is individualized based on a lot of different factors, but given all the experience on this site, I'm hoping you all can give me some points to consider.

I'm 50, overweight and have a sedentary job. I had an ACDF of C4-7 last Nov, thoracic laminectomies with fusion/instrumentation of the T3-4 and T9-10 in Sept and now the lumbar surgery. Other than that, I'm fairly healthy. Any thoughts would be appreciated!
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Unread 11-18-2012, 11:45 PM   #2
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Walking is good, and in general any exercise you can withstand is good. It should be suited to what works best for you. No two people are going to be the same. You know what your limits are, and if you don't know what the exact limit is you know the general area. Stay within your limits but also set a little further distance each time out. Eventually you will find what works best for you and by no means overdo it! Take your time getting there and back. Losing the weight, if only a little bit at a time is recommended and after healing you will want to strengthen your core. Best of luck and glad to hear it was successful!
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Unread 11-19-2012, 10:01 AM   #3
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Walking is good, and in general any exercise you can withstand is good. It should be suited to what works best for you. No two people are going to be the same. You know what your limits are, and if you don't know what the exact limit is you know the general area. Stay within your limits but also set a little further distance each time out. Eventually you will find what works best for you and by no means overdo it! Take your time getting there and back. Losing the weight, if only a little bit at a time is recommended and after healing you will want to strengthen your core. Best of luck and glad to hear it was successful!
All I can say is AMEN. Nice and easy. 30 minutes twice a day could be the right amount but cut back on the intensity for a few days. Gradually increase the distance and intensity as tollerated. You will get there. Best wishes.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 03:26 PM   #4
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Good for you! But if the long walks cause alot of pain, you should be easing back on them. The idea is to increase you ability but NOT to cause an increase in pain. So if your pain is increased by these long walks, cut back build your time/ability up slowly. You don't want to suffer from it. Hugs, Lee
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Unread 11-20-2012, 11:21 AM   #5
bretd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lal209 View Post
Hi, guys! I just underwent open posterior laminectomies of the L2-S1 on 13 Nov and have a question about how much walking I should be doing now. The surgery went well and the pain has been well-managed for the most part. By the time I left the hospital (Saturday) I was walking the hall 3-4 times a day going about 500-700 feet each time. I was tired and straining by the end of the walk, but the additional pain usually subsided in 1/2 hour or so. I am using a lumbarsacro brace and also doing the limited exercises they gave me to do.

Today at home, I walked twice outside going about 1200ft each time taking about 20-25 minutes for the walk. (I hadn't realized it was that far at the time.) I had planned on walking about 4 times a day, but after the second one was pretty pooped and hurting. It took about an 1-2 hours for the pain to decrease back to "normal", and my back has been much stiffer when getting up or sitting down all evening.

The instructions I got were very general re walking as much as possible, and didn't really provide any guidelines. Doing internet research I've come across a few guidelines, suggesting that one should walk 5-10 blocks a day. Of course, it doesn't give a distance for what constitutes a block, which I've found run anywhere from 100-900 ft. I've also seen here on this forum where many discuss the need for walking and basing it on pain levels.

So my questions are -- is it better to walk farther fewer times a day or to walk more often, but shorter distances? If I base distance on pain levels, how do I judge what is an acceptable level of pain? I realize that some of this is individualized based on a lot of different factors, but given all the experience on this site, I'm hoping you all can give me some points to consider.

I'm 50, overweight and have a sedentary job. I had an ACDF of C4-7 last Nov, thoracic laminectomies with fusion/instrumentation of the T3-4 and T9-10 in Sept and now the lumbar surgery. Other than that, I'm fairly healthy. Any thoughts would be appreciated!
I had a triple spinal fusion s1 L3 L4, there really is no guide lines, it just depends on you. I think you tryed to do to much, take it easy and walk a little at a time 3 or 4 times a day. I had to start walking around my house for a while before I even made it outside. listen to what your body tells you, it takes time don't rush it. I hope all goes well.
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Unread 11-22-2012, 06:05 PM   #6
lal209
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Thanks, all, for the feedback. Sorry for the delayed response, but I had a bit of a setback with a fall and haven't been able to get to this for a few days. Everything is all right, thank goodness and no damage ws done to the instrumentation. I appreciate everything you've said and realize that probably shorter more frequent walks are better. So I'm starting with that now. I've been so blessed this year with all the support I've gotten with the surgeries and I'm grateful for this site and your input as part of it. Hope you all have had a Happy Thanksgiving!
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