Five exercises that can help relieve failed back surgery syndrome symptoms

Exercise can be highly beneficial for people with failed back surgery syndrome. Regular, low-impact cardio can be helpful, and stretching and strengthening exercises are important as well. In fact, for many people, physical therapy and at-home exercise are a fundamental part of treatment.

When it comes to stretching and strengthening exercises, it’s especially important to work closely with a doctor or physical therapist. Certain movements, such as those that require twisting of the spine, can make failed back surgery syndrome symptoms worse. And depending on the part of the spine that was operated on, certain movements may need to be avoided. An experienced professional can help each patient create a custom exercise plan that’s ideal for his or her unique needs.

Low-impact daily exercise

Developing a daily cardio plan can be a bit easier, although it’s still important to talk about any potential ideas with your doctor. As a general rule, anything that does not jolt, jostle or twist the spine is usually recommended. Running, golfing, and playing tennis, for example, are not advised, while the following activities are usually safe for patients trying to find relief for failed back surgery syndrome:

1. Walking outdoors on a flat surface such as a sidewalk, or indoors on a treadmill
2. Swimming or water aerobics
3. Gentle restorative yoga
4. Pilates
5. Tai Chi

Important tips for exercising after back surgery

No matter which exercises you choose, it’s crucial to listen to your body. Nothing should cause sharp pain or discomfort. If a movement feels wrong, stop right away — don’t feel as though you must finish the exercise just for the sake of finishing. And if you aren’t quite sure how to complete a prescribed exercise, don’t hesitate to ask for better instructions. Proper form is key.

Of course, even with exercise and other common treatments, failed back surgery syndrome can still cause persistent pain. At Laser Spine Institute, we perform minimally invasive spine surgery that can help address issues experienced after a failed back surgery for patients who have exhausted conservative treatments. Our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and use muscle-sparing techniques that offer our patients a shorter recovery time^ and less risk of complication compared to traditional open neck or back surgery.

You can contact us to find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures by asking for your no-cost MRI review today.*