One of my most important jobs as the Health and Wellness Coach for The Better Way Back® is to help patients set realistic post operative goals for themselves after undergoing minimally disruptive spine surgery. Everyone is eager to start doing the things they love again – right away! I understand. But nobody, not even I, could perform a roundhouse kick or run a marathon in the first few weeks after spine surgery. So, if it’s taking a little longer to reach your goals, don’t get discouraged. Modify your goal timetable, keep working towards your objectives, and stay positive. You’re going to get there.

Immediately after my back surgery I worked with my hospital staff to start setting my goals.  On day one, I decided to walk down the hallway. The next day, I did one push-up and one sit-up. Just before my XLIF® procedure, I could do hundreds of push-ups and sit-ups but I was now starting from zero. I realized that recovery is a process and I needed to take it one step at a time. Before I knew it, just two-and-a-half weeks after my surgery, I was going on a three-mile hike.

I encourage you to work with your spine surgeon and other medical staff to set realistic recovery mile-stones, just like I did. Everyone’s recovery is different and it’s important not to push yourself too hard. And, as you begin to achieve the milestones you set for yourself, don’t forget to celebrate!


Nate “Rock” Quarry
XLIF patient
Health and Wellness Coach
The Better Way Back spokesman