Physical Therapy Baby Steps

by Mary on December 12, 2016

I’m pleased that I was able to return to physical therapy to work on strength and stability  just 2 1/2 weeks after my back surgery.  This was for the legs and feet only at first. Working the back itself has to wait at least three or four weeks after the surgery. I’m not exactly moving iron: the weight on the machine ranges from 2# to 10#.

I’m putting a few miles on an exercise bike at the gym. While I’m there I use their cable weight machines hooked up to a weight belt or strap to do some of these PT exercises. About a week ago I started stretching and using a foam roller again. It feels really good. There’s still some excess tension, particularly in the left hamstrings, that I’m working out. I use a green Stretch-out Strap and a vicious ribbed orange foam roller.

Earlier I was walking around the neighborhood for 1-2 miles a day, but lately we’ve had snow and freezing weather. If I have to stay away from the ice rink it makes even more sense to stay off the sidewalk.

Besides the exercises on the video, my PT’s had me doing some other basics like working my feet in several directions with the stretchy PT bands, hamstring curls (with 3# ankle weights), and standing calf raises. Last week we added bird dogs, which are a nice way to work your back without actually bending or twisting it.

I was supposed to be able to start going in the water as soon as all the glue and whatnot was off the incisions, but that hasn’t happened yet. Once it does I’ll start walking in the pool again, and I’m totally looking forward to a hot Epsom salt bath.

I’m absolutely noticing improvement. My walking improved soon after the surgery and is now pain-free. I can feel more stability in that left hip. And the very fine muscle trembling from the injury (fasciculations) has slowly diminished and changed location.

My six week post-op visit is later this week and I hope to be able to give a very good report!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle December 12, 2016 at 9:27 pm

Sending healing thoughts your way!
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Mary December 13, 2016 at 5:04 am

Thanks Michelle, nice to hear from you!


George A. December 13, 2016 at 2:08 am

Sounds like you’re making good progress! I need to add bird dogs back to my core exercises. I’ve become lazy and my lower back is letting me know it!


Mary December 13, 2016 at 5:06 am

We do get those reminders don’t we?


Jo December 13, 2016 at 4:39 am

Progress! I am so glad that you are doing better and noticing results in your walking and stability. Those machines are quite impressive, and look like they work your glutes as well as your lower leg and foot. All that athletic training will surely come in handy in the rehab process. Looking forward to the 6-week update!
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Mary December 13, 2016 at 5:11 am

Thanks Jo!


Eva December 13, 2016 at 1:36 pm

Hooray for improvement! So happy to hear that PT is helping. Hoping you get a good report at your next check-up!
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Mary December 25, 2016 at 8:34 pm

Thanks, Eva, things continue to go well.


Melissa December 14, 2016 at 2:15 am

Yay! I was just thinking today that your 6-week checkup would be soon. So glad that you’re seeing progress and that PT is beneficial. Praying for a very good report at your doctor appointment!


Mary December 27, 2016 at 12:23 am

I’m doing well Melissa, thanks for all the support!


Marcia December 14, 2016 at 3:16 am

Looks like you’re making great progress! I need to take a page from your book and work on glute strengthening myself. Here’s to continued improvement.
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Mary December 25, 2016 at 8:35 pm

Thanks Marcia! I hope you’ve made progess with your hamstring injury.


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