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Dr. David
Dr. David, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
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Experience:  Board Certified Physician
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I have had lumbar fusion 2.5 year ago, L5-S1 with no back

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I have had lumbar fusion 2.5 year ago, L5-S1 with no back pain for 2 years now. On Monday I have joined a gym and had an induction with a Personal Trainer who is suppose to specialize in back pain and people with medical condition. I told him about my fusion and told him I want to tone up as I haven't done any exercise since the surgery. I told him I don't want to do any weight lifting that puts direct pressure on my back. Ge got me to use a few machines for my arms and then got me to use a machine for leg press ups. I told him that it felt quite heavy but he said that the back is supported with the bench and that I will be fine. However since my lower back has been quite painful where the screws are. I am really worried that I may have hurt my back or is it just the muscles that are hurting due to having really weak back muscles as I haven't done any core exercises since the surgery. I can't get hold of my spinal surgeon as he's not back in the office till Monday. I need some advice as to what I should to in the meantime? Did I mess my back up or is it just a warning from my back that I should not be doing this type of exercise?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 months ago.

Hi

Rest

No lifting

anti inflammatory drugs

Ice

No twisting movements

Lie on the back with the legs up, feet flat on the floor and head supported.

If you sleep on your back put a roll under the knees and see if this helps.

Have an evaluation at A&E to make sure there is no acute compromise.

They can do simple testing for now.

Let me know if you have more questions.

Please click a positive rating.


Additional Information:
Fusions do go bad, and can be problematic.
Fusions can fail short term, or long term, for a variety of reasons. We don't really have detail on how well your fusion took. For example, even if the area is not well fused, but the hardware is in place, the doctor will often watch it. We don't know if you had follow up imaging and what it showed. Any sudden back pain in a patient with your history, regardless of the cause, warrants an exam due to medical standard of care.
In addition, additional disc problems often occur around fusions.
Sudden exercise and training , without the doctors ok, and without preconditioning, can cause problems.
I can not examine you.
Without an exam, there is no way to say exactly what is wrong with your back, or not.
Please see my first answer and in addition, have an exam today if you can.
Here is a good , comprehensive discussion of this topic
http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/spinal-fusion/failed-spinal-fusion-surgery
They might also want to do imaging.
I am a double board certified clinical doctor.
/Find me as needed in medical for safe, fast, and correct answers.
Expert:  Dr. David replied 6 months ago.

This is Dr. David

2 year is a long time not to do exercises.

to answer your question, no, I don't think you messed your back up from doing leg press exercises.

but you could have strained your back muscles doing the exercises.

it is often very normal to feel soreness of your muscles when you haven't used them in a long time

exercise over time will help them get stronger

your trainer also should have helped you warm up and stretch your legs and back muscles before and after your workout as well

you also need to make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids and water and electrolytes and avoid alcohol and caffeine after heavy exercise .

most likely your back will be fine. some of the soreness in your back most likely is due to build up of lactic acid in the muscles after exercise.

this will get better in 2-5 days usually

let me know if you have other questions.

if done for now, please leave positive rating of 3-5 stars so I can get credit for helping you today

we only get credit for helping clients after positive feedback

you can always reach me directly with "a question for Dr. David" in the medicine or oncology categories if you have other questions

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Dr. David, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 43477
Experience: Board Certified Physician
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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Dr. David,thanks so much for your help. Apologies for the late response and rating, I did as you told me and went to A&E straight away and explained to them what happened. They did x-rays and said that the fusion is absolutely fine, that I have strained my back muscles. My trainer told me we will not do any weight training but focus on fundamental core strengthening exercises for now once the inflammation goes down.I will definitely leave a positive rating as you have helped me to put my mind at rest and treat the issue asap with the appropriate treatment.Thank you so much!Anna
Expert:  Dr. David replied 6 months ago.

thanks for the reply.

I'm glad your back was fine

sore strengthening is a good idea for now.

alternate ice and heating pads on your back muscles to help decrease inflammation and to help relax tight muscles.

thank you so much for the bonus.

you can always reach me directly with "a question for Dr. David" in the medicine or oncology categories if you have other questions

here is my website if you need to reach me:

http://www.justanswer.com/medical/expert-dr-david/

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