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Old 04-17-2012, 12:37 AM   #1
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post micro-d pain

I am 5 weeks post micro-discetomy. Resumed work this week.
Found that sitting for 8 hours leaves my back painful and 'burning'.
Is this too much? Anyone with a similar experience?

 
Old 04-17-2012, 10:18 AM   #2
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Re: post micro-d pain

As you can tell from the pain you are experiencing, that is too much sitting. Many surgeons restrict sitting to 15-20 minutes at a session, right after surgery...and then gradually expanding the time. But after spine surgery, you really need to get up and move about every hour or so. Now, I am assuming that you had a lumbar discectomy...if it is higher up, I imagine the rules are different. But, regardless, sitting puts 30% more stress on the discs than any other position. People often develop disc problems from a lifestyle that involves too much sitting.

I realize people do need to work...so try to do what you can to take short breaks, even if it is standing up at your desk and doing some shoulder rolls and maybe a couple stretches to get the blood flowing. Be sure your work area is ergonimically designed and set up, and that you have a great, support, adjustable chair. Some offices are getting work stations that go up and down so a worker can stand part of the day. Try to lie down during your breaks and lunch hour to give the discs an opportunity to unload. In other words, do whatever you can think of within your workplace rules to make the situation work for you. Perhaps you could get a special dispensation for 4 weeks while you continue healing. After my husband ruptured a disc many years ago, he would lie on his office floor when on the phone. Things like this do help.

Use ice for pain...and when you get back home, don't try to maintain a "normal" post-work schedule. Let the housework go. Let the kids ride to activities with someone else....remember, this is all temporary, but you need the help now while you are in this important phase of healing, so don't be afraid to ask for help...and let everything else go. You have to go to work, but you do not have to do the other activities, for now.

 
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:15 PM   #3
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Re: post micro-d pain

Thank you very much for the advice.
Discetomy was in L4/5 and lying down flat is such a relief after a couple of hours sitting.

 
Old 04-22-2012, 10:58 PM   #4
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Re: post micro-d pain

If you can work a temporary part-time schedule, this will help too. I started back after fusion, at one month post-op, working 3 days per week, six hours per day, then slowly increased while my stamina built back up. I would think that your employer would prefer you to plan to take a day or two off per week, rather than have you call in sick every Friday for a couple of weeks. You might need to get extra paperwork from your doctor, though.

I have a sit/stand desk, so I move it up and down a lot. If you don't have this luxury, you could either lie down or stand up while doing anything that doesn't require your computer. At work, I have an freezer pack with a strap that goes around the waist. That way, I can put it under a sweater or jacket and it sticks with me while I move around. It lives in the office freezer when I'm not using it. Sometimes it smells a little weird from all the stuff people leave in the fridge, but that's a small price to pay.

 
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