Staying active after bone spur surgery — 10 exercises to avoid and five smart alternatives

After bone spur surgery, you may need to make some changes to your lifestyle. For instance, if you run or play contact sports, your treatment team will most likely recommend that you choose a lower-impact activity instead. Staying active is important and can help support the recovery process, but exercises that involve repeated bending, twisting or impact have the potential to do more harm than good.

Activities to avoid after surgery

While it’s best to discuss your options with your surgeon, as he or she will be most familiar with your unique physical needs, many patients are advised to avoid activities like:

  1. Golf
  2. Tennis
  3. Heavy weightlifting
  4. Distance running
  5. Football
  6. Basketball
  7. Hockey
  8. Soccer
  9. Martial arts
  10. Gymnastics

Some of these activities can be safely resumed after the initial recovery process is complete. For instance, many people are able to return to the golf course after getting a green light from their treatment team. However, low-impact exercises are typically still better substitutes.

Low-impact activities to try after bone spur surgery

As you recover from your bone spur surgery, you might try some of the following low-impact exercises:

  • Yoga
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Water aerobics
  • Rowing

You can also work with a physical therapist to develop a stretching and strengthening plan that you can use to improve your flexibility and muscle tone. Stronger neck and back muscles are better able to support the spine, meaning that you may be able to reduce some of the stress that your body naturally carries.

Changing your lifestyle after surgery may be a challenge, but it can be very worthwhile. Returning to any activity before your body is ready can have a detrimental effect, as can resuming exercises that increase the wear and tear on your spine.

When it comes to surgery, certain procedures tend to have shorter recovery times than others. The minimally invasive surgeries performed at Laser Spine Institute, for instance, involve no large incisions and patients are up and walking on the same day as their procedure.^ To find out if you are a candidate for minimally invasive bone spur surgery at Laser Spine Institute, contact us today.