I'm just over a year post ALIF and pretty much recovered from the surgery. I was very, very good with my PT (core stabilization and strengthening) both before and after surgery.
At about 7-8 mos post op I decreased the frequency of doing the core work to 2-3 days per week, about 30-40 minutes per session. I admit that lately it's been more like 2 days per week and not 3. I am active otherwise (a lot of walking and easy trail running) but am wondering if I need to work another day or two per week of the stabilization back in.
Here's the deal: I still have some pain, but it is greatly diminished. All of the months of rehab did not do anything for the "residual" pain. Doing the exercises is painful, especially those that involve extension. The physical therapist did tell me way back when that they might hurt when I did them but as long as the pain subsided within a half hour or so that I should not let it stop me from doing the exercises. I am surprised that I still manage to feel pain and fatigue when I do the exercises, and am wondering if maybe 2x/week is not enough.
For those of you that are at least a year post-op, how much time do you devote to stabilization and strengthening?
Suffice it to say that I am not excited about devoting more evenings of my week to doing more exercise. Between trying to do the 2 days of exercises and the running/walking usually 4 days/week and then doing something fun with the family the 7th day, my brain just does not want to take it on. Plus standing at a desk all day (I cannot sit comfortably, so I stand) wipes me out, and I am just plain tired. When I get home from my walk I want to just hang out on my heating pad before I make dinner or whatever.
I realize it's individual, but I'm struggling with the mental and physical uncertainty of just how much I should be doing. I'd be interested to hear what your routines are like.
Thanks in advance.