If you have undergone surgical spine treatment, exercising may be the last thing on your mind. It is important to realize, though, that exercise is one of the most important factors in your recovery. Exercising after surgical spine treatment helps eliminate fatigue, guides you safely back into activity, and could give you strength that helps you avoid re-injuring the back. A daily exercise routine will help with healing and could go a long way toward deterring potential future problems. To learn more about exercise after spine surgery, contact our Frisco, TX practice today.
Where Do I Start?
During recovery, you may work with one of our physical therapists, who will design an exercise regimen. The therapist will focus on areas of muscle that may need special retraining to increase your strength and stability. An exercise program will be developed specifically for you, based on the type of spinal surgery you had and the techniques that will benefit your spine the most. You will work with your therapist in our well-equipped office to learn proper motions and techniques for each exercise, and then you will take that knowledge and continue exercising at home.
Exercises You Can Do at Home
If you are not working with a physical therapist, or you would like to know about additional exercises you can do at home, there are a few simple activities you can do on your own. Remember, when starting to exercise, begin slowly and work your way toward a more physical routine.
- Walking – After surgery, you need to move to improve circulation and restore the body’s energy. Walking is a great option, and most patients should start walking shortly after their surgery. Once you are home, find a path inside your house to walk while you recovery. When you feel up to it, move outside for your walk. In addition to gaining strength, you will get the added benefit of sunshine and fresh air. You can gradually increase the length of your walk as you gain more strength.
- Stationary Bike – Using a stationary bike is ideal because it puts very little, if any, pressure on your spine. You should adjust the handlebars so that they are close enough to reach without leaning over, and set the resistance to low. Starting out, you can do a five or ten minute ride, but you should gradually increase the time and resistance as you feel stronger. Eventually, you should be able to do a 30-minute ride with some resistance three or four times a week.
- Ankle Pumps – This exercise is actually employed by many physical therapists. You simply lie down and extend your legs, then concentrate on one leg and move the ankle up and down. You should use slow, deliberate motion, and hold each move for a few seconds. Repeat the motion ten times for each leg. This exercise can be done several times throughout the day.
- Isometrics – As you get back into a normal exercise routine and resume daily activities, you will want to strengthen the muscles in your thighs and buttocks to help support your back. Isometrics are exercises that have you tighten a group of muscles for a short period of time. For example, you can tighten the muscles in your thigh for 10 to 20 seconds. Release and rest for a few seconds, and then repeat the action three times before moving to the other thigh. Doing isometrics with your thighs and glutes will help to strengthen those muscles, providing your back with extra support.
If you have any questions or concerns about exercising after spine surgery, contact our office today. Our caring staff will help you find the answers you need to continue toward a full recovery.