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braceyourself
06-16-2011, 09:28 PM
Since I can't do crunches anymore, does anyone know of a replacement exercise for someone with 18 inch rods?

CaroleM
06-16-2011, 10:45 PM
Try the pilates 100, it's hard to explain but you lift your legs a few inches off the floor and your back too but you keep it straight you hold the position as you pulse your arms up and down 100 times.

Susie*Bee
06-17-2011, 08:43 AM
If you go to this old thread, you'll find an attachment with some core strengthening exercises I wrote out from my PT.

http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?7178-Workout-advice-anyone&p=59707#post59707

braceyourself
06-18-2011, 03:16 PM
Thanks, I'll give it a try.

In response to Carole, is it unusual that I can't lift my back off the ground? I'm an athletic person and it's not like I'm really out of shape or anything, but I tried what you suggested, and I could only do the leg part.

loves to skate
06-18-2011, 03:39 PM
Thanks, I'll give it a try.

In response to Carole, is it unusual that I can't lift my back off the ground? I'm an athletic person and it's not like I'm really out of shape or anything, but I tried what you suggested, and I could only do the leg part.

Katie, That sounds like too strenuous an exercise for someone with a spinal fusion to be doing to start strengthening the abs. Have you had Physical Therapy yet? I don't know when you had your surgery, but you should be able to do very minimal crunches to begin with. My favorite after that was to do what my therapist called the dead bug exercise. Lay on your back, bend your knees so that your shins are parallel to the floor and move one knee toward you as you move the arm on the same side toward your knee, then reverse by moving your knee back to starting position and your arm over you head as you move your other knee toward you with that arm on the same side toward your knee. Do this as many times as you can and build up more reps as your abs become stronger. Also as your abs become stronger, you can move your legs out farther beyond starting position. I hope this makes sense as it is hard to describe. Once you can do this exercise for three minutes at a time, you will know your abs are much stronger. You can also add one or two pound hand weights.
Have fun.

Sally

Susie*Bee
06-18-2011, 03:51 PM
I'll have to butt in here too and agree with Sally. Sometimes what is ok for some of us isn't for others, depending on the length and location of the fusion. My surgeon made sure my PT got the message "absolutely NO bridging" -- which is what it sounds like you are describing, when your back and buttocks are both off the floor. Be careful with what you do, and if you're not sure if it's ok, check with your surgeon's office. You don't want to compromise your fusion for some tighter abs.

braceyourself
06-18-2011, 09:14 PM
It's been almost a year and a half. And I didn't have any PT. Did all of you? I also had pretty much my whole back (I don't know the vertebrae numbers) fused, so that's probably why I couldn't do that one.

JenniferG
06-18-2011, 11:47 PM
I didn't have pt either. I asked the surgeon about it and he bluntly said No. He also said no to a heel lift because my left shoulder is lower than my right but when I lift the heel on that side, I even up nicely. I find myself standing with that heel raised about 2cm, anyway.

The only thing my surgeon wanted me to do was walk. I still do. I just got back from a walk in the warm Winter sunshine (about 22 degrees C) and it always makes me feel good.

leahdragonfly
06-19-2011, 10:33 AM
I am now about 8 months post-op, and doing great, but I definitely feel I need a core strengthening program. I think a lot of the exercises mentioned up thread are not applicable for those fused to sacrum (as I am), because the motions prescribed simply are not possible when fused to sacrum. I am quite sure there are other ways to exercise the core, I just need to find out what they are!! I am a swimmer and swim 20-45 minutes 5 days per week, but I can tell my abdominal muscles have gotten out of shape anyway.

I think I need a few visits to PT to learn an appropriate program for my core. I will check with my surgeon first since he never said anything about PT.

LindaRacine
06-19-2011, 11:20 AM
Try the pilates 100, it's hard to explain but you lift your legs a few inches off the floor and your back too but you keep it straight you hold the position as you pulse your arms up and down 100 times.
I was told specifically never to try this exercise after lower lumbar fusion.

LindaRacine
06-19-2011, 11:30 AM
I am now about 8 months post-op, and doing great, but I definitely feel I need a core strengthening program. I think a lot of the exercises mentioned up thread are not applicable for those fused to sacrum (as I am), because the motions prescribed simply are not possible when fused to sacrum. I am quite sure there are other ways to exercise the core, I just need to find out what they are!! I am a swimmer and swim 20-45 minutes 5 days per week, but I can tell my abdominal muscles have gotten out of shape anyway.

I think I need a few visits to PT to learn an appropriate program for my core. I will check with my surgeon first since he never said anything about PT.

Hi Gayle...

I'm doing just that right now. I have a favorite PT who is not covered by insurance, but am going to her for a few sessions to come up with a few exercises that I can do the rest of my life. The told me that the best tummy exercise is:

1) Lay on your back, and let your abdominal muscles relax completely.
2) Take a deep breath with your ab muscles still releaxed, and blow out slowly, making a SHHHH sound with your mouth.
3) As your tummy goes down from the release of breath, very lightly enhance it by tightening your ab muscles.
4) BEFORE you take another breath, completely relax your ab muscles.
5) Repeat.

It's a very easy exercise to do once you've wrapped your head around it. I don't know yet whether it's working, as I've been doing it less than a week, but I've got a lot of confidence in this particular PT. She has a DPT, and worked at UCSF hospital, on the spine floor for years. She also saw patients in clinic with Dr. David Bradford, who is also completely confident with her skills.

Regards,
Linda

golfnut
06-19-2011, 05:39 PM
From reading this forum, it seems that some with a long fusion get PT early in their recovery while apparently some are told to just keep walking until 1 year. I am hoping to start PT at 6 months, however it makes me a little nervous thinking that I could do myself more harm than good.

Lilysaidwhat
06-27-2011, 03:42 PM
I've been in PT since 4 weeks post-op and I am now on a maintenance program. I work out 2 hrs a day, 3 days a week at my PT's office as a gym member.

I do 180 dead bugs a week and have better obliques than I did pre-op. You have to really REALLY focus on keeping your lower back and abs glued to the table but they work.

The first 50 secs of this video shows what I do - again, I'm under the care of a PT I trust.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f_0f4CWKlM&feature=related

golfnut
06-27-2011, 07:19 PM
Thanks for attaching the Dead Bugs video. It is nice to have a new ab exercise.

loves to skate
06-28-2011, 11:07 AM
Lily, Thanks for the dead bug video. That is exactly the exercise I was trying to describe. In the beginning, it would be very difficult to extend the leg to the straight position, so I wouldn't even try that until you build up your muscles and can do it fairly easily. Shorter leg movements to start would be best.
Sally

braceyourself
06-28-2011, 11:30 AM
I used to do those leg things along with crunches to the side. I don't know if that has a name, but I always called it the bicycle, I think. I wasn't sure if it would have the same effect without the crunches.

golfnut
07-04-2011, 08:05 AM
Katie,
I just took a few minutes and looked at your web site. It has so much information and would be helpful for anyone planning to have surgery. Nice job!

bamboo
07-04-2011, 12:37 PM
I'M not fused yet, but I know the exercise described by Linda (message no 11). It's one of my favourite because doing it very slowly, you really feel the different abs muscles and at the same time, you carefully pay attention to the back, feeling that it relaxes and all efforts is taken in charge by the abs, it's an exercise which develops fine awareness and control of different zones of the body that should/should not work.

leahdragonfly
11-08-2011, 07:53 AM
I dug up this old because I need some ab exercises...but I notice that the majority of these (such as the dead bug) involve using ab muscles to stabilize the pelvis. However, for those of us fused down to the sacrum, the pelvis is permanently fixed into position, so it seems like this exercise won't help as much (or if at all) since no muscles are needed to stabilize the pelvis.

I still need to check out Susie's list, but I would love to hear of any other core exercises that work for us with fusions into the sacrum.