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Is it okay to use a treadmill at 3+ weeks post-op? Is it okay to use a treadmill at 3+ weeks post-op?

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Unread 02-22-2008, 12:05 PM
Is it okay to use a treadmill at 3+ weeks post-op?

Hi everyone:

Does anyone know if it's okay for me to start using a treadmill? I was 3 weeks yesterday and have been doing some walking around the house (can't get outside due to weather). The most I've walked at once is 15 minutes (only this week), but usually I just do small spurts throughout the day (walk between commercials, while tidying the house, etc.). I am feeling a little lightheaded/dizzy/nauseous these days so I was wondering if it was because I wasn't getting enough exercise. I'm tired of walking up and down the halls and I have this treadmill in my basement. I wasn't active before the surgery so the treadmill has been sitting collecting dust in the basement for over a year.

My concerns are:
1) Would I be using my abdominal muscles more on the treadmill as opposed to walking in my house and potentially doing harm?

2) Should I be doing the treadmill if I'm feeling lightheaded?

3) Should I be going up the basement stairs after using the treadmill? I don't have a railing to hold on to for any support and I've only done the stairs once with the help of my DH.

If anyone has any feedback/ideas, I would love to hear them.
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Unread 02-22-2008, 12:15 PM
Is it okay to use a treadmill at 3+ weeks post-op?

Hi P.B.

I think your best advice on whether or not a treadmill is a good idea will come directly from your doctor. The fact that you're feeling lightheaded, dizzy, and nauseous concerns me a little. Have you checked your temperature? It's possible you might be starting with an infection. If you're lightheaded and you get on the treadmill you could risk serious injury. You mentioned you don't have a railing to hold onto and have only done the stairs with your DH. You've already raised the red flag for yourself, and you know the answer to this one. You might be better off to head down your driveway and down the road a little bit. Get some fresh air, and get a change of scenery.

Since you've got some issues with the way you're feeling I would give the doctor a call, see what they have to say about the dizziness and nausea, and then mention treadmill use. Please let us know how you make out. I hope you're feeling better soon.

Unread 02-22-2008, 12:22 PM
Is it okay to use a treadmill at 3+ weeks post-op?

I would think that you should check with your . I know that I was told that I could use the at my 2+ week appointment. But I have read other peoples posts that said that their said no.

I really wasn't big on using it pre-op so there was no chance of any real heavy duty use. Since I couldn't go out and I wanted to stop taking tours of my house - I thought I'd at least try the . I figured if my neighbors kept seeing me pass the windows, they might think that I am crazy.

I would also call about the lightheadedness. That would worry me.

When I finished on the I stayed in the basement for about a half hour and and then came back up.
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Unread 02-22-2008, 12:23 PM
Is it okay to use a treadmill at 3+ weeks post-op?

i'd call and ask your dr those questions. if you werent active before your surgery, i personally dont think its a good idea to start on a treadmill three weeks after major surgery..especially since its downstairs and you say you are lightheaded.
Unread 02-22-2008, 12:34 PM
Is it okay to use a treadmill at 3+ weeks post-op?

My only concern about a treadmill, especially if you're feeling dizzy, would be if you suddenly needed to stop... maybe you suddenly felt really dizzy, or maybe you got a really bad pain, a treadmill does usually does not stop immediately. Usually when you push stop, it takes just a few seconds for the belt to come to a complete stop.

Whereas if you're walking on your own, you have the ability to come to a complete stop immediately.

That would be my only concern.... but definitely talk to your doctor... just call him/her. I know my doctor said to wait 6 weeks, but that is my doctor.

good luck!
Unread 02-22-2008, 01:25 PM
Is it okay to use a treadmill at 3+ weeks post-op?

I use mine, I am 18 dyas post for TAH
Unread 02-22-2008, 03:46 PM
Is it okay to use a treadmill at 3+ weeks post-op?

Only my take, but I don't think ANYONE should be using a treadmill if they are feeling lightheaded and dizzy. That's your body trying to tell you something and that something is probably not to exert yourself.
I was cleared to do the treadmill at 2 weeks, but I have learned on this forum that dr's advice on exercise during recovery varies greatly, so I would check with the dr.
I am an avid exerciser and have really had no trouble getting back into a very light fitness routine post op, but I would be cautious of starting a strenuous exercise program now if you were not real active before your surgery. Again, only my take on things. Definitely ask your doctor, but I think that you should start a new exercise program very very gently and maybe wait until you are feeling a little stronger? Definitely not when you are dizzy!! Hope you get to feeling better.
Unread 02-22-2008, 04:45 PM
Is it okay to use a treadmill at 3+ weeks post-op?

I agree with everyone that says to stay off the treadmill if you are dizzy. I also think you are likely to push yourself too hard on the treadmill. If you are walking, you will naturally slow down if you are stressing your body, but the treadmill will stay at the prescribed setting and you will just keep going until something drastic gets your attention or you just plain overdo it. Is there a mall near you where you could walk?

My doc was really liberal and the only limit he gave me was not to lift over 25 pounds! He also gave me the impression that I'd be fit as a fiddle in a week Best to talk to your doc, but I still wouldn't recommend the treadmill until you are feeling 100%
Unread 02-22-2008, 05:20 PM
Is it okay to use a treadmill at 3+ weeks post-op?

Thanks everyone for your words of wisdom! I guess I should just stick to walking around the house for now (sigh) - at least until these feelings of lightheadedness pass. They get better as the day goes on, but if I'm on the treadmill and I overdo it, I might trigger a dizzy spell. I wasn't planning on going fast at all (my body wouldn't let me anyway), but I think I'll wait until I'm stronger and after I speak with my Dr.

Good point snowy_owl about the treadmill being at the same setting. I hadn't thought about that. Yes I could adjust it lower, but I might not notice until too late.

Unfortunately I don't have a car (my DH uses our one car for work) and I am a 30 minute drive to the nearest mall. The weather is supposed to be warmer this weekend (with no snow) so I'm looking forward to being able to get out of the house with my DH for some walks down the street.
Unread 02-22-2008, 05:38 PM
Is it okay to use a treadmill at 3+ weeks post-op?


I suggested this on a different thread, but one thing I do is I set my timer on my microwave for a certain amount of time. Today it was 20 minutes, and I walk around my house until my timer beeps, and that way I feel like I got a good walk in, but if I suddenly feel loss of energy or some sort of pain, I know I can just stop and go sit down on my couch. This is the extent of my "excercise" right now.

I agree with snowy_owl in that the treadmill will be at one setting, so you are more likely to push yourself on the treadmill rather than walking on your own where you can adjust your pace in a moments notice.

Believe me, I'm the first to recognize the frustration in not being able to get back into exercise and being on a treadmill, etc. Prior to my surgery, walking around my house would have never made it into my definition of "exercise". haha. But, now.... walking around my house for 20 minute IS my exercise, and it's what my body is able to handle at this time.

I fully understand being house-bound, too. We live close to everything, and I do have a car available to me, but I don't feel comfortable driving yet, so I have been housebound like you, but I'm probably being on the ultra conservative side, but I just really want to get back into my normal life once 6 weeks hit, and I don't want set-backs because I tried to do too much too soon.

Good luck!!!!

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