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I had spinal fusion in 1974. I had eight vertebra fused (2 cervical and 6 thorasic) and have a Harrington Rod implant. I have two questions. 1) what exercises can I do to maintain the health of the muscles in my upper back next to the fusion? 2) Is there any research out there regarding the follow-up of people like me? Thanks, Anne


Hello! I do a little bit of lifting and a little bit of aerobics, sp I may be able to tell you about some of the exercises done for upper back but I can’t really say if these exercises are right for your condition or if you have any restrictions regarding exercises considering you had the surgery 20 years ago.

I suppose it would be best if you went to a gym because there are a lot of machines that orientate on the back muscles, while aerobics exercises are more of a mix of different muscle groups. You could find a gym where they have professional trainers who will be able to help you find appropriate exercises.

The exercise I most commonly do for the upper back goes like this:
I sit on an upright bench with my back attached to the upright board, feet firmly on the ground, dumbbells in each hand, elbows out and palms facing away from the body and forearms perpendicular to the floor and then I lift my arms up and slowly lower them back. This exercise is for both shoulders and trapeziums.

Another easy trapezium exercise: stand with a feet apart, dumbbells in each hand, arms beside the body, palms facing each other, make the whole body firm and then lift your shoulders as if you were going to touch your ears. Repeat it at least 10 times.
There are so many similar but different exercises you can do for the upper back. Once you start a gym, it will be much easier for you.