09 Feb 3 Stretches to do at Home after Spine Surgery
Many patients assume that the best way to heal after spine surgery is to stay in bed and let your body heal. The truth is that lying in bed during the days and weeks after your procedure won’t help speed up your recovery at all. In fact, it’s better for your spine to stay moderately active during your recovery period. Doing some moderate stretches regularly after your procedure can reduce pain and scarring. In this article, we are going to walk through a few exercises you can do at home after surgery to speed up the post-op recovery process.
4 Point Stabilization
This exercise helps strengthen and stabilize the back muscles after a procedure:
- Get down on all fours
- Raise your right arm straight ahead of you.
- Lift your left leg directly behind you.
- Hold for 5-10 seconds.
- Repeat with the opposing appendages.
Knee to Chest
This simple stretch helps strengthen and loosen up the muscles in your low back, as well as your hamstrings:
- Lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides.
- Slowly bring your right leg up to your chest (or as close as you can get).
- Hold the knee with one or both hands for 5-10 seconds.
- Release and repeat with the other knee.
Turn & Twist
This stretch is good for your upper and middle back muscles and helps increase flexibility:
- Sit down on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
- Place your right foot on the outside of your left knee.
- Put your left elbow on your right knee and gently twist your torso to the right.
- Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat with the other knee.
As a final note – you should always talk with your surgeon about your recommended post-op activities. Don’t engage in any of these exercises without getting the OK from your doctor – they know your specific medical situation better than anyone. Some patients may require more advanced physical therapy techniques. If that’s the case, your surgeon can refer you to a trusted physical therapist.