Back surgery recovery — exercises you can perform to promote healing

Patients who have just undergone spine surgery may feel slightly sore and tired, making it tempting to remain sedentary to rest and heal. However, a proper healing process requires a patient to move around and start low-impact exercises to help prevent stiff joints and other issues. Although moving and exercising may seem counterintuitive during the recovery process, exercise is important. The longer a patient remains sedentary, the greater the chance of developing blood clots, decreased circulation, a weakened immune system, and stiff joints.

If you are currently exploring the possibility of surgery for a spine condition, you should consult your physician or contact the team at Laser Spine Institute about the type of exercises and activities that are typical during the recovery process. There are many low-impact exercises that will help to move your joints and strengthen your muscles, allowing you to experience the best possible recovery.

Low-impact exercises for postoperative recovery

During your recovery period, it is important for you to stay mobile to prevent stiffness and muscle pain, among other complications caused by lack of movement. Before your spine surgery, you should consult with your surgical team to create a postoperative activity plan with low-impact exercises designed to help you recover faster. Some of the most common forms of low-impact exercises to help move your muscles include:

  • Swimming
  • Elliptical training
  • Step aerobics
  • Walking
  • Yoga

The key to finding an exercise that will help the progress of your recovery is to find an exercise that is low-impact but that also strengthens the muscles surrounding the site of your surgery. The core muscles surrounding the spine help to reduce the pressure on the spine by supporting some of the body’s weight and movements.

Monitor your pain during activities

During the postoperative recovery period, you may experience some soreness at the site of the incision. Be sure to monitor your discomfort and inform your doctor if the pain or soreness becomes worse, especially after activities or movements.

If you experience any pain or discomfort during an activity, stop and rest. Remember that your body is still recovering from surgery; even if you don’t feel pain at all, it is important to not overwork your muscles during this period.

Your physician might recommend physical therapy during your recovery period to help you strengthen your back muscles in a supervised setting to avoid injury. Physical therapy often helps patients who have suffered for years with chronic back pain start rebuilding the core muscles that help support and protect the spine.

Laser Spine Institute

At Laser Spine Institute our minimally invasive spine surgery is an outpatient alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures, offering our patients less risk of complication and a shorter recovery period.^ If you have exhausted conservative treatments and are considering surgery for the treatment of your spine condition that is the source of your neck or back pain, contact our team today.

We are happy to provide a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute.

Patients who have undergone one our procedures and have questions about exercise or any other aspect of recovery should call our SPINE LINE for support.