Exercises that Can Facilitate Recovery After Surgery for Arthritis of the Spine

In the weeks that follow a minimally invasive procedure from Laser Spine Institute, there’s a good chance that you will be instructed to participate in several exercises as you recover. These exercises are vitally important because they can help the healing process and might even be the difference that makes your procedure one that sufficiently addresses your symptoms. Yet, while you might be eager to take the necessary steps to regain full strength after surgery, it is essential that you follow your physician’s instructions implicitly. Overdoing it can be counterproductive and may actually make matters worse. Above all else, listen to your body and stop or avoid any exercises that increase your pain.

Steps one and two

The exercises recommended by Laser Spine Institute in the weeks following surgery are typically divided into two levels. The first level is intended to be started two to three weeks after surgery, while the second level is a little more intensive and is meant to begin approximately four to six weeks after surgery for arthritis of the spine. Additionally, the specific exercises recommended will depend on whether you had a cervical (neck) or lumbar (lower back) procedure.

Here are some examples of the types of exercises our patients can expect:

  • Level one
    • Cervical – diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal bracing, cervical mobility flexion and extension, cervical rotation and shoulder shrugs
    • Lumbar – diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal bracing, shoulder presses and gluteal seats
  • Level two
    • Cervical – cervical range of motion and cervical isometric techniques
    • Lumbar – hook-lying at arms and legs, hook-lying combos, bridging and supine sciatica/tibial glides

Learn more

To learn about how these specific exercises work, and for more information about the many minimally invasive procedures we offer to treat arthritis of the spine at Laser Spine Institute, contact us today to schedule a consultation.