After back surgery — exercises and postoperative care considerations

The first several weeks after your minimally invasive back surgery are crucial to your overall recovery. It is important during this time that you following your postoperative guidelines to help prevent injury and experience an overall healthy recovery.

Your postoperative guidelines will help you strike a harmonious balance between rest and activity so that you can rebuild strength and mobility without overexerting yourself. While you may be experiencing pain relief for the first time in years, remember that you must ease into your exercises to prevent muscle strain and spinal injury. You may feel great after surgery, but remember that your body is not used to performing daily activities because of your previous chronic pain. Start your activities slowly and rest if you feel any pain or discomfort.

Exercises for recovery

To help you have a successful recovery period, our Physical Therapy Consultants at Laser Spine Institute have designed an exercise and stretching plan specifically formulated for patients who have undergone one of our minimally invasive spine procedures.

As you begin your recovery process and perform these exercises after back surgery, be sure to stay in close communication with your primary care physician. Your physician can perform routine checkups to make sure you are healing properly, and can also help you find an alternative exercise or stretch if you are experiencing pain or discomfort. In some cases, your physician may even recommend that you see a physical therapist for the first few weeks of your recovery period to help strengthen your body in a supervised setting.

As you complete your exercises and stretches at home, you will notice there are different levels of routines based on where you are on your recovery journey. Below is some information describing the different levels of exercises and how to perform some simple at-home routines:

  • Level 1 — These exercises are for patients in their second or third week of recovery following their minimally invasive spine surgery. One important exercise during this time in your recovery is the shoulder press, which helps to strengthen your upper back and improve posture. Lie on your back with your knees bent, legs about hip width apart, with your arms on either side of you and your palms turned up. Remain relaxed as you inhale; on exhalation, press your shoulders firmly into the floor. Do not arch your lower back. Repeat this exercise about five to 10 times, two times each day.
  • Level 2 — These slightly advanced exercises are for patients in their fourth or fifth week of recovery. Bridging is an important Level 2 exercise because it strengthens your lower back and hips after a stabilization procedure. To do a bridge, lie in the same position as with the above shoulder press, but with the palms turned down. On an inhalation, press your pelvis off the floor while keeping your core muscles tightened. Gently lower on the next exhalation. Repeat this exercise five to 10 times, two to three times each day.

Join our community of support

After your surgery at Laser Spine Institute, you will have the opportunity to be a Brand Ambassador for Laser Spine Institute. There are three ways you can Stand Tall* as a Laser Spine Institute Brand Ambassador:

  • Back Pack — Join our community of past patients and gain the support you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle after spine surgery through daily exercise and wellness tips. Be a part of the conversation as you share your experience and knowledge on our discussion forum while earning points and fun prizes as you go!
  • Patient Advocate — Help others find pain relief by speaking with people who are still searching for treatment options for their chronic pain. Your story may be the reason someone chooses to take the next step in finding pain relief.
  • Testimonial — Let your voice be heard and inspire others to recapture their quality of life. Your story and picture may be featured in our facility, marketing materials, or even on our website or social media pages.

For more information about how you can stay connected after your surgery at Laser Spine Institute, contact us today and ask about our Brand Ambassador program.