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Thread: Tight, achey upper back & shoulders??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    19

    Tight, achey upper back & shoulders??

    Hi, Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to all of you!! My surgery was July 8, 2009. T 10 - S 1 fused, with lots of clean up stuff, & instrumentation from
    T 10 - L5. 51 degree lumbar curve - now around 20.
    For about a month - 6 weeks now, I've been having fatigue & achiness in my shoulders & upper back to a point where I feel like I have to focus on pulling
    my shoulders back & down to feel like I am walking with good posture otherwise I feel like I am hunched forward. I also have pain in my ribs front & back with deep breaths. Is this normal or do I just have very weak upper back muscles?? Is this part of your experience with recovery & does it pass?
    Any advice?
    HappyDeanna
    Dr. Bhatia
    UCI Medical Center
    Orange,CA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Hi Deanna,

    Since you mention it, I have felt my posture isn't quite as good as first thing after surgery and that my head is slightly further forward and my shoulders slightly rounder. I doubt it's enough that anybody else would notice it, but I have, just the last couple of weeks. I don't have any pain with it.

    If you speak to your surgeon about it, could you let us know what he says?
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    114
    I had that around 2-3 months post op...I figured fatigue from getting up and starting to move around and do things. I also went back to work. My PT has started me working on shoulder movements and arm strengthening and it has really helped. I use the big rubber bands to stretch my arms and very light dumbbells for my arms. She also recommended putting the heating pad on my upper back, due to the fact that those muscles are working a lot to compensate for my lower muscles being stiff.
    I'm also finding that now that I am more comfortable moving around, I am forgetting about my posture. I have to remember to relax my shoulders and use my core muscles to hold myself up. Hope this helps.
    Kathy, 43
    Diagnosed as a teen
    Boston brace 2 years
    63 degree lumbar curve
    Surgery August 26, 2009
    Anterior approach fused T12-L4
    now 28 degrees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    It could well be tiredness. It's that time of year.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    1,105
    Merry Christmas Deanna,

    I held my shoulders up for a long time post surgery. Didn't even realize I was doing it until just one day they dropped back into a normal position. I my husband mention it right away.

    For months afterwards I would be holding the up w/o knowing, then he would say drop your shoulders, and I felt better every time. But it takes time, for your body to get back to as normal, as normal as can be post-opp.

    Give yourself some more time, you have just had you body rearranged, give it time to adjust to it!!!

    You'll be fine,
    Shari

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