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12 comments on “Get Plugged In

  1. Good morning! I love exercising, walking, zumba. In 2015 I was in a head-on collision resulting in a burst compression fracture and pars fracture of L5. After bed rest and a brace for 3 months, I was cleared and began researching safe exercises I could return to and eventually was able to resume previous activities, with just an occasional backache. Last September & February, I was rear=ended, again, resulting in a vertical fracture and re-fracture of pars, in same vertebra, which, this time, has not healed. Yes, it’s been over a year. The neurosurgeon and orthopedic dr both feel at this point, that surgery to stabilize my lower lumbar is in order. I have already been watching your videos and “practicing” and working on strengthening core, to help aid in recovery afterward. Is it possible that I will be able to move forward with no pain?

  2. Hi William! I need your help. I had severe scoliosis and had my first surgery when I was 18 years old. The result was Harrington Rods from T1-T12. Twenty years later I blew out my L4-L5 disc, had another surgery and had a laminectomy disectomy. A few years later a cyst formed in my spinal canal (near my L4-L5) so I had to have another surgery to remove the cyst. Everything was great but then a couple years later, the cyst returned in the same place again. I had to have another surgery to remove the cyst and this time a spinal fusion at my L4-L5 was recommended to stop future cysts from forming. When I came out of surgery my nuerosurgeon told me he only fused the one side. The right side. I was not happy about this as I had always had a curve in my lower spine and uneven hips. I was concerned for my left side and worried it may cause future issues. He told me it was not necessary to fuse both sides. Three months after surgery I started to experience a dull ache in the middle of my left hamstring. It’s been 6 month now and I have chronic pain everyday. I have been to chiropractors, physical therapists, have been fitted for orthotics, take glucosamine and magnesium supplements, stretch, walk, have regular massages, tried heel lifts and take regular baths. I am pretty sure it is my si joint and have also tried the si belts. Nothing has helped. I fear I am fused with permanent unbalanced hips and will suffer si joint pain forever. I refuse to have a 5th surgery in the future. I am 47 and have bee suffering back pain for most of my life. My future looks very bleak and it scares me to death. I am at a loss. Please help!

    1. Hey Deanne,
      Thanks for reaching out. Just like anyone else, your situation is unique and what is going to bring you relief will depend on your own experieince. You can’t change what has been done but I would still start with the most elementary tools I personally use to start correcting the way I use my body. The muscles around your spine want to help balance and stabilize these sites so when they feel the area is unsafe they will clamp down and cause all sorts of discomfort.

      I would look at learning good movement mechanics first and start working on posture corrections. Do your research and find someone who specializes in these assessments and can get you on the right track. Despite what has been done you have to first correct what you can control and that is your body and how you use.

  3. Hi William!

    Great website! I am two and a half years out from a spinal fusion and laminectomy at L4-L5 due to severe arthritis. lt was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. My doctor had me on the usual restrictions–no bending, twisting or lifting more than 10 lbs for 12 months rather than the usual 3 months. I have no doubt that long period of restrictions is what contributed to having NO PAIN! As you say though it’s critical to be nice to the joints next to the fusion to avoid problems in the future. But at 63 and falling because my balance isn’t hot and my legs are weak, now I want to exercise, with short intervals–cardio 4 minutes, resistance exercise 3 minutes, core-strengthening exercises 2 minutes and stretching and deep breathing for one minute. But a lot of the core strengthening exercises especially look pretty scary to me. Push ups,especially those that require increasing the lordotic curve of the lumbar area look like a big no-no, as does anything that entails twisting. Lying on stomach and raising torso by bending up at the waist and anything that involves tight bending forward at the waist. I want to avoid the cost of going to a physical therapist to go over these exercises in a book I’m working with. Any other suggestions or ideas?

    Thanks and have an excellent day!


    1. Hey Kate,

      Yeah, I would focus more on increasing your core coordination. Basically, the way your pelvic floor, deep core, glutes and breathing interact while moving. I would work more with neutral spine exercises on your back such as a modified dead bug and a modified version of the bird dog. I am working on a project that is going to cover this exact topic in the near future in detail with videos and plans to follow day by day. Make sure you get plugged into the site so you don’t miss it!


  4. Hi my name is Tania, 40yrs old, I am new to your site and looking forward to see what it is all about. I had spinal fusion 8 months ago due to scoliosis and a kyohosis I developed. I have metal rods and screws from the T7-L5. I use to kickbox, do crossfit, and any form of bootcamp workouts. I feel that keeping my body in motion these last few years help me in my Rehabilitation I was able to go back to work after 4 months when most expected I wouldn’t until after 6 or 8. I push myself mentally and physically to get better quick. It definitely was a mental battle for me not being able to do the simple things like putting on my own socks or tying my shoelaces so when I was finally able to do those things 5 months after surgery was a big accomplishment for me. I have been going to the gym doing alot of Cardio, but there were moments I know I pushed too hard and I did pull a muscle. It scared me to the point that I thought something might have gotten loose in my spine. Luckily after doing x-rays it showed me that my Hardware as the surgeon put it was fine and all I did was pull a muscle. Unfortunately since then I have not been able to work out as hard because of some pain still existing as well as the fear of hurting myself again. I am getting bored at the gym just doing cardio and I’m looking to find other ways I can work out. I gained almost 25lbs due to the favt I am not active like I use to be, and I am dying to lose it. I know I am limited I can feel it in my body and the restrictions but I was wondering what forms of exercises can you recommend for someone like me who was so used to more of an intense workout. I only saw my surgeon two months after surgery and two months ago when I hurt myself other than that he said I dont need to have routine follow ups and I was clear to work out. Hope to learn from you and this site. Any insight woumd be so helpful, thank you.

    1. Hey Tania!

      Thanks for reaching out and I am glad you found the site!

      This is a pretty common feeling a lot of “once super active” people have after a procedure like this and even people who were just moderately active and now their back pain seems to hold them back. Whichever level you are doesn’t matter it’s the fact that you feel like you have lost something that was so important to you (even when it’s something that is suppose to be good for us like exercise.).

      This is my position when dealing with this.

      1) Having any kind of spine work forces you to change your mindset and in some cases ability to do certain things ( you know this I am sure). Being in denial of that will only keep you injured and on the surgery table. At the same time, back pain and/surgery is not a death sentence. You can still live a healthy active life, it just might not look exactly the way it did 8+ months ago.

      2) Just like this article talks about what you do and how you do it is very important after a fusion. Keep this in mind every time you exercise or do any kind of movement for that matter. Don’t be afraid to attempt something such as weight train or anything outside of cardio but it’s your job now to educate yourself on proper movement and mechanics. The people who rely solely on their doctor to say yes that’s good or no that’s not usually continue to need them for pain killers and future surgeries. Surgeons don’t teach the things you need know to move well and correct any issues you have. Don’t stop learning from other sources than your doctor!!

      3) With the same intensity you had with your training I encourage you to put that energy in learning how to move well. Learn how to brace, stack your spine, hip hinge, walk, stand etc. Build the infrastructure within your body that is needed to do more exercise other than cardio. In most cases fusion patients don’t really have a firm grasp on the importance of good posture and good spine hygiene. Its not until they are in pain that they look to change these things. I know your case is a little different so this may or may not pertain to you but the idea of relearning how to move is very true. So it’s not really what FORMS of exercise can you do now that you have been operated on but what corrections do you need to make to your body that will support the level of exercise that is both safe for you long term but satisfying to the soul.

      4) This process takes time. Anterior Pelvic Tilt, Forward Rounded Shoulders, Muscle Imbalances, and poor Movement Mechanics etc. are done for decades before we realize what they are doing to our bodies, so be patient with the recovery and learning process. Learn to perfect what really matters and enjoy the time. It is challenging in a sense when you used to intensity being your measure of “quality” of workout.

      This is a road block but its not forever. My journey has had many ups and downs and I am still learning myself. Let me know if there is anything else.

      I know that’s a bit more than what you asked for but 🙂

      You can always email me for more chatting!

  5. Hi William,
    We are excited for you to try our Ergo 21 Seat Cushion and Lumbar Support!
    Here is what Nabil wrote on Amazon recently 🙂

    I had 2 surgeries done at my back about 3 and 5 years ago, and since then, every time when I sit, I would feel discomfort at most chairs that I choose to sit. But as soon as I sat on the Ergo 21 cushion, I was astonished at how comfortable and relieving it is to sit on it. I didn’t feel any discomfort for the drive back home. On top of that, the next day I drove to San Francisco from LA, and sure enough the trip was a very smooth journey for me. It gave me the feeling that I have lost for a very very long time. So thank you Ergo 21 for creating this amazing product. I hope your product reaches to everyone that can benefit in helping to change their lives for the better.

  6. Hello William,

    A have a mild disc bulge at L5-S1 + start of bulge on L3-L4 and L4-L5.
    I have a sciatica in my right leg all the way down to the foot. I was going through neural test from dr. McGill’s books, and according to them flossing of a sciatic nerve should help me. However, pain flares up even more. I heard dr. McGill saying in one interview that if a nerve is pinched too hard, the person should do partial nerve flossing. Any idea how to do that?

    Thank you in advance for your answer!

    Have a great day,

    1. Hey Tom,

      Looks like the comment was a little slow to in approved. You probably know by now but I sent you a direct response to this question through email so be sure to check your inbox! Thanks again for reaching out to me!

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