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Old 02-09-2009, 03:38 PM   #1
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After a back fusion surgery 5 years ago, I want to join a gym.

After a back fusion surgery 5 years ago, I want to join a gym. What machines are safe to use.?

 
Old 02-09-2009, 05:45 PM   #2
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Re: After a back fusion surgery 5 years ago, I want to join a gym.

Hi Joanie, and welcome to the board!

Did your doctor give you any permanent lifting restrictions? I have a T4-sacrum fusion and am a member of a gym. I look at it as PT. I walk on the treadmill for about 1/2 hour, my top speed being other people's warm up speed and I hold on for dear life, but it's still good exercise. I have found 7 other machines that I use regularly. There are a few others I could use, but they're very similar to the ones I already use. I avoid anything that puts weight on my spine. I pull and push weight, pull down weight, and use the abdominal machine. I do the leg machine and the bicep and tricep machines. I get a good, sweaty workout, but I put little stress on my back.

If in doubt, clear it with your doctor first. But if you're careful and use common sense, you should be fine.

Glad you're able to get out and get your muscles strong! That's the best thing you can do for your back!

Emily

 
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:59 PM   #3
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Re: After a back fusion surgery 5 years ago, I want to join a gym.

See if you can find a gym that has truly qualified personal trainers. That, and knowing what restrictions your doctor gives you, may help you find what exercises and machines will work best for you. I've known some people who hire outside trainers (since they aren't confident in the ones the gym has) for some physical training. You may be able to do this for a short period of time - learn what works - and then go off on your own to the gym. That being said, personal trainers are not cheap.
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Rt&Lt thumb arthroplasty 2012 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS 2011
Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
Old 02-11-2009, 03:28 PM   #4
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Re: After a back fusion surgery 5 years ago, I want to join a gym.

Honestly - I wouldn't say many. And it wouldn't be a good idea to try and figure it out for yourself.

I my home-care Physical Therapist (PT) was once a personal trainer before she became a PT, and she was saying that although Personal Trainers can be very well versed in how the body works - they're not great when it comes to people who have had surgries like Spinal fusion.

Your safest bet would be to find a really GOOD PT who will meet you at the gym you're going to sign up to, and have THEM show you around. They can teach you what machines to use, how much weight, etc.

It may sound like an expensive option, but it's a lot less expensive to hire a PT than another back surgeon.

Perhaps if you just did some low impact cardio (Swimming) and a Pilate's or spin class that would be enough for you. Most gym's offer classes like those.

Hope this helped!
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:10 PM   #5
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Re: After a back fusion surgery 5 years ago, I want to join a gym.

I am a 62-year-old male. I have had two fusion surgeries, 2002-2003. I am fused L4-L5-S1.
I go to the gym for 1.5 hours every morning. There are very few things you cannot do. All exercises should be somewhat slow and controlled. The only things I avoid are the twisting machines. I have been working very hard to increase core strength for about one year. It really has helped my back. Occasionally I will overdue it and have numbness in my legs or toes. I usually recover in a few days and resume exercise.
I usually walk the treadmill for 30-45 minutes. There is no need to walk slow, just walk at whatever pace you can. It will really help your back. Don't expect immediate results, it takes time.

 
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