Being proactive with your recovery will help to ensure the best results from your surgery.
One of the best ways to recover from spine surgery is through exercise.
Using an approach that implements a gradual and progressive exercise program, will not only promote proper healing, but will help to restore normal strength, flexibility and function of the back and spine.
Since there are many different types of spinal surgery, it is important to consult with your doctor before starting any type of exercise program. Your surgeon will be able to give you a time frame on when to begin your exercise rehabilitation and what to expect in the coming days, weeks, and months following your surgery. In addition, it is best to begin your recovery by working with a licensed professional (such as a chiropractor or physical therapist) who has experience with post-surgical spine rehabilitation.
Once your surgeon has given you the green light to begin, one of the first steps in recovering from spine surgery is walking. Walking helps to get the back moving and provides a gentle transition to begin improving your overall fitness and flexibility. Early on, short walks on flat stable surfaces will provide the best results. As you continue to heal, adding more distance to your walks will help to improve strength and endurance.
In addition, adding a daily stretching routine will help to improve flexibility and muscle tone of the back and legs. Your doctor should provide you with instructions on how to properly stretch throughout the different phases of the healing process. Since the hamstrings can become particularly tight after lumbar spine surgery, it is important to be consistent with your stretching program.
The next step would be to incorporate exercises that strengthen the core musculature to stabilize the spine.
Depending on the type of surgery, this phase can take from 4 to 12 weeks to complete. Your chiropractor or physical therapist should be working one-on-one with you to develop and implement a program that best suits your individual needs and goals. They will also help to ensure that you are performing the exercises correctly. Learning and practicing good form is essential for proper healing.
As you return to your normal daily activities, your chiropractor or physical therapist should make ergonomic recommendations to help protect your spine when sitting or lifting. Strategies such as my free Stay Fit While You Sit program are excellent ways of keeping your spine healthy and feeling great. (the password to use this free program is 9735647676)
Ultimately, many of the core exercises you learn during your post-surgical rehabilitation should be incorporated into an overall fitness program (including both aerobic exercise and strength training). Once you have completed care with your chiropractor or physical therapist, working with a certified personal trainer is a great way to transition from rehabilitative care to a weekly exercise routine.
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Wishing you good health.
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