I am an active horsewoman. I ride, train, and show horses on a regular basis. Is there any reason I can’t go back to these activities after back surgery? I am having a disc and part of the bone removed.

Studies have shown that there’s no reason to restrict activities after lumbar disc surgery. However, a little common sense goes a long way. It will take your body six weeks or so to heal and recover at the surgical site.

Using good body mechanics and avoiding heavy lifting is good advice at all times. For example, feeding horses one or two hay bales is one thing, but moving two tons of hay alone is something else. Get help to do the big tasks.

Some researchers have studied whether or not horseback riding is helpful when added to a rehab program. The overall result isn’t any different, but the horseback riders returned to work sooner. As with all athletic activities, when resuming after a break, start slowly, and build up.