Recovering after annular tear surgery with rehab exercises

Although it might not be the first thing on your mind following your minimally invasive annular tear surgery at Laser Spine Institute, exercise can be an essential part of your recovery. Before you begin any exercise program after surgery, check with your physician or physical therapist to see if you are ready. He or she will know the details of your case and can tailor recommendations to your needs. To give you an idea of the types of exercises you may be advised to attempt within the first six months of your surgery, we have supplied some examples below.

Common exercises after surgery

A great place to start with your post-annular tear surgery exercise routine is with breathing exercises to help you relax and focus on your body. You can do this by lying flat on your back and placing one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. When you take a breath, you should ideally feel your belly rising more than your chest. If not, you are taking shallow breaths that can make performing other movements more difficult.

Once you have learned to control your breathing, you may be cleared to move on to other exercises. If you are recovering from surgery that addressed an annular tear in your lumbar spine, you may be instructed to perform stretches while lying flat on your back, such as:

  • Gently tensing and relaxing your abdominal and gluteal muscles in your core and buttocks, respectively
  • Performing pelvic lifts, also known as the bridge pose in yoga disciplines
  • Slowly pulling each knee into your chest to stretch your lower back muscles, hamstrings and other muscle groups

Be careful with all exercises

No matter how your doctor or physical therapist advises you to exercise, you should remember to listen to your body. If a particular movement feels too difficult for your current state or if an exercise hurts, stop immediately. Avoid pushing yourself too hard and simply make a note to try that movement again at a later time, when your body has healed a bit more.

Patients who have undergone minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute and have any questions or concerns during the recovery process can call the SPINE LINE at any time. For potential patients seeking more information about our procedures, facilities and caring expert medical staff, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our dedicated team is happy to provide a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.