Spinal surgery is a major surgery and post rehabilitation is extremely important in getting patients back to full health quickly. The ability to return back to post surgery status depends not only on how successful the surgery is but also the rehabilitative program that the doctor has set.
Exercise is extremely important to recovery after surgery. Exercise will help to get rid of fatigue and aid in a smooth transition back to daily activities. Exercise also helps to decrease further back pain. One excellent low impact exercise is walking.
Walking causes almost no spinal irritation and helps to align the vertebral column after surgery. Walking also helps speed up the healing process as nutrients can reach the injured tissues to help with repair.
Water activities such as water aerobics are good post surgery rehabilitation exercises that are low impact, yet allow a full body workout. The water will support the body weight making it feel like a low gravity setting. As a result, the compressive forces in the spinal columns are significantly reduced, allowing for a better recovery.
After surgery, the soft tissues will take roughly 2 to 3 weeks to heal. Once the soft tissues are fully healed, stretching exercises should be done a few times daily to regain a full range of motion. Bear in mind that stretching should only start after your physiotherapist has given the all clear. Due to surgery, the back muscles have lost the ability to stabilize due to a lack of motion. As such, daily stability stretching exercises should be done until the back has fully regained the ability to be stable.
Yoga strengthens the core muscles and helps to gain flexibility, range of motion and coordination skills. Yoga also requires flexing and twisting of the body so medical advice should be sought before commencing it.
An exercise bike provides a whole body workout with low impact on the spine. Make sure that the seat is aligned in a way that you do not need to bend over your back. Start off with low resistance until you are able to gain more strength. As time pass, slowly increase the resistance to build up muscles.
The recovery is as important as the surgery itself. A lengthy recovery time is required following spinal surgery to avoid any complications and further aggravation of the spine. Back rehabilitation exercises are able to help gain strength and regain range of motion which is very important following surgery.