Many back surgery procedures are performed to reduce or eliminate chronic back pain and to enable the patient to move their spinal column again correctly. However, surgery is an invasive procedure that involves cutting through tissues to accomplish its objective, so it can take a while to heal fully after a back operation.
Fortunately, physical therapy helps surgery patients recover more quickly and regain lost strength as quickly as possible. It also helps to reduce complications and leads to better outcomes.
Goals of Physical Therapy
Post-op physical therapy for back patients helps to increase flexibility by stretching the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the spinal column. The movement also limits the formation of internal scar tissue in order to prevent stiffness.
Exercise encourages healing by increasing blood flow and strengthening bone tissue in the vertebrae. Physical therapy after back surgery is designed to be slow but consistent, allowing your body to become stronger without imposing excessive strain.
You will work with medical professionals on the types of exercises that are beneficial for your healing back. They will also help determine your pacing: Timing and exercise type can vary significantly between patients, so your physical therapist will create a customized plan for you that’s not too fast, not too aggressive, and not too slow.
Stretching Exercises After Back Surgery
One of the first exercises you’ll learn involves stretching motions which are meant to improve your flexibility. While you’re lying down on a bed, your doctor or therapist will have you perform static and dynamic stretching exercises to ensure the mobility of your back. Static stretches give your back muscles and joints a consistent stretch, while dynamic stretches put your joints into motion.
Strengthening Exercises and Physical Therapy
After a few days or weeks of stretching exercises, your physical therapist may now prescribe several exercises which are meant to strengthen your back muscles. This is important because these muscles support your spine and enable you to move and twist your back.
Once you’ve mastered basic stretching and strengthening exercises, your physical therapist might recommend more intense activities. These exercises may involve the use of resistance bands to target specific muscle groups in the back. Your therapist may also show you how to use an exercise ball to keep your body stable and strong.
Back Surgery and Physical Therapy in South Florida
Physical therapy after back surgery will include lots of stretching and strengthening exercises that can help you recover fully after the operation, so you’ll feel as good as new. These exercises also help to reduce the risk of complications after surgery and allow you to return to your normal activities as quickly as possible.
You need to work with experienced physical therapists who can create a tailor-fit program just for you. They will also determine your proper pacing and will continue to monitor your progress.
If you are in or near Pembroke Pines or Lauderdale Lakes, contact us at Total Orthopaedic Care to help you get back on your feet after back surgery. Call our friendly team at (954) 735-3535 or fill out our online appointment form now to get started. We look forward to seeing you here.