My daughter is having back surgery in a few weeks to repair a second herniated disc. She herniated two discs from a fall off a horse. She was doing crossfit type workouts before and wants to get back in to it. Need information about starting over.
Has anyone else started back after back surgery? How long should she wait before beginning to lift? Are there things that she should not do at all?
We are assuming that she will have to start with strengthening her core again after the surgery but would just like some guidelines for eventually doing full workouts.
I'm sure there are others with better experience/advice to give you but here's mine...
Originally Posted by DebD
I have an L4/L5 herniation that is very near bone on bone. I believe it was from the chronic cardio I was doing.
I chose not to do surgery but what helped more than anything was time and patience. I learned how to properly bend, sit with a better (albeit not perfect) posture, work on my core, and eliminate anything that would cause pounding on my back. (Jumping movements/lifting things over my head)
I was very very cautious and took off from exercising for about a year after they found the herniation and my pain was at its worst. When I was no longer scared to get back into exercise and the pain had subsided a bit...I went SLOW and did things with PROPER FORM. That's key...or at least it was for me.
after surgery, she'll have physical therapy. after that, pilates or yoga would be a good option for her to get a feel for the body and the movement (honestly, she could do these things in lieu of surgery, but it's up to her, right?).
then, eventually, move back into weights/cross fit.
Unfortunately surgery is the only option. This is a very large rupture that is pressing on several nerves.
I have a similar problem, and after 12 years of dealing with it, I'll be trying cortizone injections as the next "consrvative" option.
Although my condition is not as severe as your daughter's injury, I was still basically told to stay out of CrossFit, and be only EXTREMELY careful with things like kettlebells or sledge hammers (I have to stop before total exhaustion, or the slightest form-change will screw me up badly). I have to go for ultra-stabilization. It's been a long road to acceptance that I simply can't move like an athlete. That aspect has been difficult for me, but I've still been able to find movements that challenge me very well and help me reach my goals.
CrossFit may be dangerous for someone recovering from disc surgery, and again, for me, was dis-recommended by my physical therapist. Main reason is the same reason that makes it challenging- the group setting pushes you, but in pushing, one can lose form and end up back in the hospital quite easily. I do some crossfit moves, but I do them extremely controlled and somewhat modified- something that doesn't always go well in a class setting when you are always challenged to push harder.
Also to remember, disc injuries never really heal 100%. One can get that disc off the nerve, but the injury is still there.