The first issue on the checklist to recovery is pain control. Having to live with it for a few more days and maintaining a positive attitude requires strength and support. Furthermore, exercising may induce pain, so some movements should be restricted unless necessary.
Pain relief may include ice packs applications to the required area or electrical stimulating devices. Certain positions of the spine and back movements will be used to increase exercise effectiveness. A physical therapist will assist and provide all the required information for exercise after back surgery. This is usually accomplished via a training program tailored differently for each patient, taking into account factors such as the specific surgery, tissue conditions and the body type.
Muscle toning will focus on regaining strength in the muscles around the incision and the small muscles lining the backbone. These muscles offer stabilization and support of the whole body and by toning them; stress is removed from the incision site. Some patients will present restrictive movement issues, in their shoulders or hips, or lower joint flexibility. A newly operated back surgery patient will be trained to perform safe select movements to eliminate fatigue and avoid future injury. A correct exercise schedule to be followed upon at home will focus on healing and reducing pain.
Most patients will be eager to return to their professional activities immediately after surgery, in this case a doctor’s opinion is crucial. Depending on how they respond to the exercise procedures, recovery time may be shorter and patients will be allowed to return to work. Therapists will assist patients with any questions they might have about exercise after back surgery, and encourage information exchange. The end result still depends on the patient’s willingness to work his way to recovery.
Improving lifestyle changes will be applied successfully if the patients state of mind is on a positive attitude. Anesthetics may cause a shock after surgery, with effects including depression for a few days. Sleeping during the day is encouraged and a few special precausions will be taken at all times. Sleeping on the backside should be limited and a cushion has to support the incision area. Sleeping on a stiff mattress for a few days will improve healing times but will also create general discomfort.
Special hygiene regarding the sutured incision will be taken, such as regular clothing changes and cleaning and disinfecting the wound after showers. If however the incision becomes swollen, red or feel hot, it may indicate inflammation and a doctor should be contacted immediately.
Even though exercise after back surgery will decrease recovery time, only a doctor’s decision will allow you to return to regular work.