Sunday, January 20, 2013

SPINAL FUSION: not your brother's workout

 Here's that disclaimer again:  This is only my workout as taught by physical therapists in three different programs.  Ask your doctor (no really, ask your doctor) before any exercises.) The other disclaimer:  my fusion is LUMBAR.  These exercises may not be for you.

 In the mystery books, the heroine always runs a couple miles, then works like a dog for 12 or 24 hours.  We are going to be gentle and split it up during the day as much as possible.   

First: My surgeon always said WALK from the first day I was diagnosed.

His assistant said:  Too much time at computer.  Vary Your Position:  sit, walk, lie down, sit in support chair.  Walk more.


When I open my eyes:  After I was first diagnosed, I woke up, said my prayers, turned on the coffee and dived for my rigid foam exercise mat.  Now since surgery, floor work is discouraged (at least so far.)  What I want to start doing instead, or at the start of my nap:

Three or four exercises are to do lying on my back in bed.  Eartha Kitt once wrote that she exercises before she gets out of bed.  If I do that for 100 years....never mind.
First:  bun squeeze.  Just contract them ten times.  When wearing a coat, I can also do this in the doctor's waiting room.  Or the checkout line.

Second:  lying on my back, sideways move.  I don't have a pillow under my legs for this.  Just move one leg to the right, center, then to the left, then back to center.  10 times.  Then the other leg.  Supposedly even doing this lying down will help my balance.

Third:  Bend knee and, pressing heel to mattress, bring heel back toward my buns.  10 times.  Then the other leg,. 

I was also taught to do these in a chair that supports my back.  I had an ottoman, so I could also do:

A leg raise on the ottoman (sit in support chair) when the PT says you're able.  Rest legs on ottoman.  Gently raise one leg an inch or two above the ottoman and lower, ten times.  Then the other leg.  Repeat

A knee raise.  Foot on floor if you can reach it, or I put a slim cardboard box under feet for this.   Lift knee two or three inches; then lower.  10 times.  Then other leg. 

Look for a couple of pill bottles or the grabber or cane.  Have them ready for the arms and my secret arm exercise

Apologies to you who already saw most of this on an earlier post.

I noticed in rehab that moving the wheelchair by hand worked some arm muscles that have always been neglected.  So I reach over the arms of my posture chair, and with a small bottle of lotion in each hand, I duplicate the motions of moving the wheels.

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