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Thread: New here with a question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    New here with a question

    I am happy to have found this site, thank you very much! Just reading threads has given me a lot of helpful info. I hope this is the right place to ask my questions.

    My harrington rod was done when I was 15 and before physical therapy existed (or was too new-fangled for my surgeon) and now I want to make up for 30 years of lost time in getting my back muscles strong. I have started a low-impact aerobics class and there are muscles complaining! Are these muscle twinges going to lead to a stronger, healthy back or are they harbingers of damage and more pain to come?

    I would appreciate hearing about other's experiences trying to get fit long after surgery. I would also appreciate any ideas on good questions to ask a doctor/physical therapist.

    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Northern California

    physical therapy

    Hi Ann,

    I don't have rods in, but have seen many physical therapists over the past ten years for my back and back pain (I'm 28 and borderline surgery case).

    When I was speaking to my latest and wonderful PT, she mentioned that she had often worked with people just after they had surgery, and it was mainly for muscle strengthening. If I were you, I would try and find a PT who has a special interest in the spine and / or scoliosis--apparently there are certain courses they can do in various spinal specializations--or one who works in conjunction with a spine surgeon in your area. Perhaps your MD could advise you on somebody suitable or on how to do local search. (As you probably know, many insurances cover a certain amount of PT during each membership cycle, and I'm sure your doc would like to help you in your quest for getting in shape.)

    The only other words of relative wisdom I have that you might find useful are that I've found a REALLY broad spectrum of attitudes and approaches in each PT I've seen. Sometimes it takes a few goes to find somebody who will be most useful to you in your particular case, so if you don't feel like one PT is helping, trying another one can sometimes be a really good thing!

    Good luck! ~Laura

    ps My PT started me on the elliptical trainer when I could do no other form of exercise. It was really easy on my back--the only thing that didn't trigger major pain--so perhaps you could ask whether that exercise could also be a safe option for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Cambridge, Canada

    I have rods fused to my spine and I would never do aerobics - low impact or anything, because it does trigger a lot of pain. I have been doing pool therapy - excercise in a pool and that has been very helpful for me. Your results may take longer, but it is much easier on your body as the water takes the pressure off. You may also want to look into an arthritic WARM pool therapy program as it is geared towards people with joint issues (including spine), etc.


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