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2575 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Apr 10, 2012 1:20 PM by revrunner207
revrunner207 Rookie 3 posts since
Dec 21, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 5, 2011 3:21 PM

Spinal Fusion and Running

Has anyone had a spinal fusion of the S1 L5 vertebrae and how have you managed to keep running?  I won't give up!  But I may have to.

I run just three miles now (did a half six months after the surgery) three times a week, ice, and take lots of meds for pain.

  • Joseph Tree Legend 378 posts since
    Oct 22, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 14, 2011 1:29 PM (in response to revrunner207)
    Re: Spinal Fusion and Running

    I know this won't be a final sort of answer to your question, but I would strongly recommend that you put LOTS of attention to yor form.  I run barefoot because my knees screamed "NO NO NO" to running when I was doing it with shoes 25 years ago.  Without shoes I've learned to run very gently, and that kind of easy gentle form is what you'll need to get back on the road.  There are some that manage to learn the gentle form with regular or minimalist shoes, but barefoot is what worked best for me.


    Look up Barefoot running here in the thread archives where there have been some good discussions.  Also look over to the Barefoot University, the Barefoot Runners Society, Ken Bob Saxon's "the Running Barefoot" site (he also just published and excellent book on the subject.)  Chi and Pose Method sites might be of service to you, too.


    If you have running in your future, I think your path will have to include a new running form.


    Good luck!

    Barefoot / Minimalist Runner

    ...not maintaining this these days..

    07/29/2012 Marsh Creek Raptor Run 10 Mile Trail Race

    07/15/2012 Quadzilla 15K Trail Run, Trexlertown, PA 1:37 (2011, 1:49)

    04/29/2012 Lehigh Valley / St. Luke's HM, 1:43:15 (2011, 1:54:20 )

    03/19/2012 Kutztown Fool's Run 10 Miler, 1:18:15 (2011, 1:30:20)

    02/26/2012 Ugly Mudder 7.2 Mile Trail Run, Reading, PA 1:20

    11/27/2011 Dirty Bird 15K Trail Run, Birdsboro, PA 1:40

    10/08/2011 Lehigh Gap Nature Center 10K Trail Run (6.38 miles), 59:20 (10/07/2012)

    Started running (again) May 5, 2010

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Aug 14, 2011 6:20 PM (in response to revrunner207)
    Re: Spinal Fusion and Running

    I agree with JosephTree about paying particular attention to form, and that barefoot running can help you do that.  You may or may not want to go barefoot full time, but it can help you with form, foot strength and other areas.  The other thing you should pay particular attention to is strengthening your core, your lower back and hips especially.


    You also might post this question in the Med Tent, to get more responses.




  • LoriKre Pro 83 posts since
    May 16, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Sep 13, 2011 4:02 PM (in response to revrunner207)
    Spinal Fusion and Running

    I have had 2 cervical spine fusion surgeries and was told I needed lumbar surgery about 10 years ago, but I refused.  I struggle with normal movement like turning your head every day, and it's a movement most people take for granted.  How I wish I could wake up and be pain free, but I know it's not going to happen.  I have always done range of motion exercises daily (or most days) on my neck, but I've rarely done exercises for my lower back.  Once I started the C25K program, my entire spine was screaming every day.  I started reading about the benefits of core training, so I started adding crunches and push ups to my non running days and I feel sooooo much better.  Now, I won't lie and tell you I'm pain free, but I am able to run and do many things that I have struggled with for I don't even remember how long.


    I remind myself every day of how fortunate I am and I just keep on going.


    Good luck and happy running.



    C25K Started 5-16-11 quit due to injury. Re-starting C25K 6-4-12

    1st 5K - 7-30-11 Completed-4H 5K-Brown County Fairgrounds-49:36-walked with some jogs added in

  • Matelasse Rookie 1 posts since
    Apr 10, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Apr 10, 2012 9:47 AM (in response to revrunner207)
    Re: Spinal Fusion and Running


    I am 60 y/o with 16 one inch screws in my lumbar and cervical spine. I am an avid exerciser. I "spin" mostly but I want to run the Disney 13 miler in Jan. 2013.

    I do some 5k's and with the right training I know I can do this!  My shoulders sometimes hurt when I run but if I remember to keep them low, I am alright. My lumbar spine also has it's moments and I run thru the pain, take Ibuprophen and get rest. I figure that's why I had the surgery- so I can Move! If not, why bother?

    I suppose I am crazy but I'm all fused with literally a new spine ( the doctors used stem cells- the cells morphed into bone. I didn't have to have a cadever bone replacement or use my own bone. Remarkable! I had it done in 08.

    Good luck to you!

    Keep in touch.


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