Post-op Spine Care Recovery Tips

Doctors in DiscussionRecovering from spine surgery can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. It depends on your procedure and your physical condition prior to your surgery. Post-­op care will include physical therapy and your commitment to a continuing fitness program. Your doctor and post­-op therapist will know what's best for your back after surgery. Don't ignore their advice, even if it feels like you're ready to run that marathon, or if you think you need more rest and they're urging you to get out of bed. Trust your doc and your physical therapist to get you safely back on track as quickly as possible.

Avoid the BLTs
You should avoid bending, lifting, and twisting in the early days following your surgery. It's not that you'll never do these motions again; it's just that they can put too much stress on healing tissues. Also, you may need to re-learn how to do these motions in a way that causes less stress. Your physical therapist will help you learn proper body mechanics.

Walk, Walk, Walk
Now here's something you can do! Walking is great exercise. It's one of the easiest, most convenient ways to get activity into your day.

The National Institutes for Health recommend that we get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. And studies have shown that you get just as much benefit from several 10­ minute bursts of activity as you do from one longer workout. Take a quick walk before work, at lunch, and after work, and you're done!

Jason Highsmith, MD is a practicing neurosurgeon in Charleston, NC and the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Back Pain. Click here for more information about the book.

Updated on: 10/27/15
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