L5-S1 Spinal Fusion

A little over a year ago I underwent a spinal fusion due to a very old injury that got really bad over 12 years. I was off and on with dieting and training through probably 10 years of it. I was out of work 7 months while dealing with the pre/post surgery effects. In that time I went from 200lbs up to 250lbs.

I’m only 5’8 and this extra weight does not bode well for my rehab as well as over all health. I am still in pain, more from muscle soreness than anything. Sometimes stretches help, and sometimes I feel no relief.

I am 100% positive it has a lot to due with the extra strain my back, buttocks and hamstrings are dealing with in reference to my increased size and hanging belly as I like to call it. What I am inquiring on…

Have any of you yourself dealt with a spinal fusion in this area, and what steps did you yourself take to get back into shape? It’s hard for me to diet when I’m in pain, but I’m at the point to where I’m willing to go through the pain, in hopes of relieving it down the road through proper dieting and nutrition.

I am not allowed to do any squats,deadlifts or any heavy lower back excercises. I want to train safely as to not reinjure or prolong my goals. I know you’re going to say, see a doctor…trust me I have and all he has said is to “walk” well, that was a year ago and I’m still heavy.

I seem to get along o.k. with stationary biking on the ones where you sit and peddle with your legs out in front of you. Almost like sitting in a chair. I’m curious as to how well any water excercises would do, and what types would there be? I want to safely get into cardio and get more brazen once I’m at a healthier weight and in less pain.

Again, I know you’re not doctors. I’m merely looking for ideas or helpful advice that I can maybe try.

Thank you.


You obviously need to lose weight. I would also try and work on some kind of core strength involving drawing in technique. I guarantee you have tight hip flexors as well ( we all do, we sit at work, we sit in the car, and we sit at home: this all leads to adaptive shortening of the hip flexors). Your psoas attaches to the last thoracic vertebrae and all of the lumbar ones, and tight hip flexors pull on that area of the spine which can cause pain.

What’s your diet like? That could be the culpret of your not being able to take the weight off. You’re not moving around like u used to, and I’m sure you’ve atrophied over the past few years while gaining this weight so your BMR is down as well. I would cut back on eating, maybe eat a little cleaner until you can get to an acceptable weight while walking or biking.

My diet is complete crap. It’s where all the weight gain came from. I’ve always had a bad issue where I ate to feel good, and in times of pain I ate more as it seemed the only comfort I was getting. Now, I’ve pretty much gone way overboard and am having issues with pain due to being over weight and out of shape. I use to do the T-dawg diet back in the day and had very good luck with it while I was mobile. Now, not so much. Could you please be more specific about what kind of stretches and excercises would help with loosening of the hip flexors? I’m willing to try anything. I just thought maybe low impact excercising in a pool will give me a chance to switch up my excercising routine while adding maybe a new diet along with it as well as a different work out program. Thanks for your response by the way.

If you’re trying to lose weight, nutrition is the big place to start. It can be really safe by getting healthier/more nutritious one change at a time.
A lot of us here like precision nutrtion. Here’s a free 45page overview of the basics.

and here’s a “change one thing at a time” approach.

eat less; eat better.

there’s no secret.
and if you need help getting out of pain, consider connecting with a movement/health coach who can help there and support your nutrition process. PM me with a location, and i’ll be happy to recommend someone if i know someone nearby where you are.