If you’ve been hurting bad enough to need surgery, you’ve suffered enough. You don’t need to feel pain after your procedure. But while the aim of surgery is to relieve the problem that led to your pain, any surgery is still a traumatic experience. Your procedure may have been minimally invasive, but you still need to give your body time to heal. So go slow during your back surgery recovery.
You’ll be referred to a physical therapist with instructions from your surgeon for your recovery plan. Remember that the whole point to exercise after your procedure is to regain your strength and prevent future problems from flaring up. You may feel some pain as you start, but it goes away as you heal.
Get Up and Get Out
After nearly any surgery, doctors want to get you up and out of bed as soon as possible. Back surgery is no different. To ensure the best back surgery recovery possible, begin moving around as soon as you can. As tempting as it may be to simply lay around for rest and healing, it’s a deceptive comfort.
It’s completely natural to feel sore, achy, and tired. Your body has been under stress and you may be mentally exhausted as well. Working your way into low-impact exercises is healing to both your body and your mind.
Physically speaking, back surgery recovery that involves movement and low-impact exercise prevents stiff joints and sore muscles. It decreases your risk of blood clots, improves your circulation, and strengthens your immune system.
Lying sedentary can cause an array of complications to your overall health, as well as hinder your back surgery recovery. The exercise and activities suggested by your recovery team at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) is designed to get you back to your daily routine as quickly as possible. The recovery plan helps you recover faster — with less pain and fewer setbacks. Follow your surgeon’s instructions to achieve the best results from your procedure.
Get Moving and Have Fun
Exercise doesn’t have to be a grueling or painful process. Pain isn’t gain when dealing with back surgery recovery. To feel better, not worse, fight the temptation to dive back into your old workout routines. Don’t push yourself too hard. Some low-impact exercises are surprisingly enjoyable and not immediately recognizable as exercise:
- Light dancing
Anything that gets you motivated and moving is a great start. Once you’re ready for more of a challenge you can progress to:
- Elliptical training
- Step aerobics
- Mild jogging
With exercise, there’s always a next level to aim for. Together with your doctors at SSI, you can customize an exercise plan specific to your back surgery recovery. Focus on strengthening the muscles directly impacted by your surgery. But also strengthen surrounding or secondary muscles that lend support to the affected area.
Strengthening your core muscles also reduces stress and pressure on your spine by supporting your body’s weight and movements. And the muscles around your spine can actually hold it in its proper place, preventing compressions that could happen in the future.
Physical therapy teaches you which muscles to work and how to use them properly. Pay attention to your body. Call your doctor if your pain becomes worse when you exercise. And even if you’re not experiencing pain, understand your limitations and avoid overworking your muscles or hindering your back surgery recovery.