Rehabilitation for Spine Surgery Recovery
Spine surgery is a major undertaking, and rehabilitation
is an important part of helping patients get the most
possible benefit from their surgery. Essentially, rehabilitation
(physiotherapy, exercise) can help patients recover
from spine surgery as quickly and completely as possible.
It can be thought of as alignment and balance for your
body. If you buy new tires for your car, they wont
last as long if they are not aligned and balanced and
the new tires will be a waste of money. Your spine surgery
is like new tires, and a physiotherapists role
is to do the alignment, balance, and engine tuning to
make sure that the effects of the surgery are as positive
There are several ways that a physiotherapist typically
will work with a patient to help him or her get back
into good physical condition and heal from the injury
and back surgery.
1. Pain Control after spine surgery
A physiotherapist is trained to help manage pain following
back surgery. Controlling pain is an important first
step in allowing patients to regain their strength,
as it is very difficult to complete a rehabilitation
program if one is in a great deal of pain.
While a certain amount of pain is common in the recovery
process, there are several means that a physiotherapist
may use to help minimize pain, such as:
- Ice application
- Certain positions of the spine
- Certain types of movements
- Electrical devices (e.g. TENS units)
Many of the techniques for back pain relief are simple
and easy to learn and can be done at home or at work
throughout the day. For many patients, it is surprising
to learn how much simple use of ice packs and/or changes
in movements and positions can help alleviate post-operative
Ideally, a physiotherapist will also provide information
and education to improve a patients overall health
and recovery after spine surgery through lifestyle changes,
such as drinking enough water throughout the day and
finding a comfortable sleeping position.
2. One-on-one training after spine surgery
The therapist will typically develop a training program
tailored for the patient, taking into account the patients
specific surgery, body type and tissue conditions.
Therapists focus on muscle facilitation with areas
where the muscles may need special retraining to gain
strength and provide stability following the back surgery.
This type of exercise therapy may focus on:
- Muscles in the incision area
- Muscles that may have been weakened by nerve problems
before the surgery
- Small muscles that work around each vertebra and
help stabilize the spine. Most people (even those
without spine problems) do not use these muscles very
often. However, if these small muscles are trained
properly, they can provide excellent stabilization
that can protect the spine and protect the newly operated
area to prevent future problems.
Individualised physical therapy may also help with
areas where the patients mobility and flexibility
has been limited by spine surgery. Many spine patients
have problems with restrictions in their hips or shoulders
or other areas of the spine. In these cases, the therapist
can help the joints and the muscles involved regain
the movement in relation to an individuals body
type and physical activities, and will work in the best
way with the newly operated spine.
Physiotherapists are trained to be sure to select movements
that can be done safely around the spine surgery.
Click here to learn
about Rehabilitation via Exercise
here for a list of Private Rehabilitation Centres in
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