After undergoing minimally invasive spinal surgery, your first instinct may be to rest and stay off your feet. However, while it is certainly important not to overexert yourself and to allow your body the time it needs to recuperate, it is imperative that you reintroduce your body to normal activities as soon as possible after surgery. Becoming sedentary could cause a loss of flexibility, muscle atrophy, reduced muscle strength and weight gain, any of which capable of putting increased stress on the spine during the healing process.
Recommendations from Laser Spine Institute’s physical therapy consultants
The Physical Therapy Consultants at Laser Spine Institute have designed a program of postoperative stretches and exercises formulated specifically for our patients who have undergone a minimally invasive spine stabilization procedure. They are broken down into two general categories: Level 1 exercises are meant to be performed in the second and third weeks following spinal surgery, and Level 2 exercises are designed for patients in their sixth week of recovery.
Level 1 exercises are extremely gentle and are aimed at gradually increasing core strength as a means of adding support to the spine. Diaphragmatic breathing and abdominal bracing are examples of basic exercises designed for lumbar stabilization recovery, whereas shoulder circles/shrugs and cervical mobility rotations are aimed at helping patients who have undergone a cervical stabilization.
Level 2 exercises for the lower back gradually build strength in the arms, legs and spine through bridging, supine sciatic/tibial glides and versions of the hook-lying exercise. Level 2 cervical isometrics and cervical range of motion exercises are reserved for cervical stabilization patients.
Other postoperative considerations
It is imperative that you follow your postoperative care instructions from Laser Spine Institute extremely carefully. Our Patient Services Department and our Physical Therapy Consultants are always here to answer any questions you may have about the recovery process after spinal surgery. You should also stay in close communication with your primary care physician so that he or she can monitor your progress. To learn more about the recovery process following a minimally invasive spine stabilization procedure, contact Laser Spine Institute to schedule an initial consultation.