What To Do After Back Surgery

You hear it all the time… you’re just twisting and/or lifting something simple, maybe the laundry basket, maybe just your laptop, and OUCH: your back goes out.  In the case of my client Peter, while picking something up, he actually ruptured a disk. Fragments of his disk entered into the spinal column causing extreme nerve pain. Life as he knew it, was suddenly different. He suddenly was in surgery.

In this case, Peter had no other option than to have back surgery to remove the fragments in his spinal column.

Peter came to me 3 months post-surgery based on the recommendation of his neurosurgeon and his wife (a longtime client).  I think Peter was more scared of his wife than the doctor.

It’s rare that a surgeon will recommend strength training over physical therapy, but in this case he did.  Peter came to me having barely ever exercised in his life. He wasn’t super excited about the whole thing, but he came with a mental commitment that he was going to give it a try.  That’s all he needed.

We started slow, it went something like this:   First, let’s just stretch.  Now, let’s find your missing muscles (the glutes). Ok they are not really missing, but they are sleeping.  Let’s wake them up Peter.  Gently. “Go home and do these everyday” I told him, sending him home with his customized routine. Peter did it.  He read every morsel of the document I gave him and made a commitment to his routine.

In the beginning Peter came into the studio once a week, then once every other week, then once every 3 weeks.  Each week we would review his routine.  He would ask questions: “Why does this leg feel tighter than the other one?” and “How long should I hold this for?” and “Is this a good progression for me to get stronger?”  Peter was an excellent at asking good questions.

One day his wife lifted up his shirt and said “Check it out, he has a butt now!  It’s so cute!”  Despite the TMI, I smiled ear to ear.  Yes, he finally has glutes and knows how to use them.

I got Peter to record a quick video telling us his results.  He’s a funny guy… check it out here.

All you need is a posture routine, a floor, a mat, a wife who loves to compliment your glutes (ok that’s optional) and a will to wake up those sleeping muscles.

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