8 Exercises to Do After a Back Surgery

Research shows that about 540 million people globally are affected by back pain of some kind. It’s also estimated that 8 in 10 Americans will experience back pain.

Some people who suffer from back pain end up needing back surgery. Back surgery is quite intense, and the patient will need a long recovery period.

To get some back pain relief after surgery, you could try a few exercises (please consult a medical professional before doing any exercises). Gentle exercises and stretches are great for promoting healing and flexibility.

Keep reading to find out what exercises to do after back surgery.

1. Straight Leg Raises

A type of core exercise for back pain is straight leg raises. This is when you lay on your back with one leg bent right at the knee.

Stretch the other leg in front and tighten your core. Lift both legs slowly off the ground as high as you can and hold for about five seconds.

Slowly lower your legs back down to the ground while you keep your core tightened. Repeat this exercise about 10 times and increase this as you gain strength.

Keep in mind that you should only do this exercise after you have mostly healed. You probably will not be able to lie on your back for a few weeks.

2. Wall Squats

Another one of these back exercises is to do wall squats. You will need to stand with your back firmly against a wall and your arms held out straight.

Walk your feet out from underneath you about 12 inches and bend your legs at an angle. Hold this position for five seconds, bracing yourself against the wall.

Walk your feet back and continue doing this exercise 10 times. Make sure you consult your surgeon before doing this to make sure your back is strong enough.

You may need to do this particular exercise towards the end of your recovery.

3. Bridges

If you have had spinal surgery or lumbar fusion, bridges are a great exercise to try. You will need to lie on your back with your knees bent upward.

Make sure there is a straight line from your shoulders all the way to your hips. Raise your hips until your body is in line with your bent legs.

Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering your body. You can do this exercise 10 times or more, depending on how you feel.

These kinds of stretches are great for your back and legs and for building better core strength.

4. Stationary Biking

After back surgery, you will want to exercise without over-exerting yourself. One way to do this is to invest in a stationary bike.

This will allow you to exercise on a stationary bike without the dangers of actual biking. This improves your circulation and strengthens your heart after intense surgery.

Experts recommend that the patient do this for 20 to 30 minutes daily. Make sure you consult your doctor ahead of time to make sure it is suitable for you.

5. Abdominal Draw-Ins

Another exercise to try is abdominal draw-ins. You will do this by laying down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.

Press your back into the ground and tighten your abs or your core area. Hold this tight position for 10 seconds before relaxing your core and lifting your back from the ground.

Do this exercise at least 10 times every time you do it. You can start to increase this amount as you gain core strength.

6. Hamstring Stretch

A great option when it comes to back stretches is a hamstring stretch. This can be very helpful after you have had back surgery and need exercise options.

Lay on your back and bend your legs, raising one leg up. Use your hands to pull your leg toward you straightening the knee slowly to stretch your hamstring.

You should be able to feel a slight burning sensation as you are stretching. Hold this position for 20 seconds and repeat with the next leg.

Try to do this stretch for 10 to 30 minutes at a time. This will make you feel much better and will help you to recover faster and go back to being active after surgery.

7. Heel Slides

You could also try doing heel slides to rehabilitate your spine. Lay on your back and start to bend and straighten one knee 10 times.

Switch legs and repeat the process with the next leg. If you are uncomfortable, you could always lay on the carpet, a yoga mat, or a flat pillow.

Make sure you ask your surgeon about any exercises that involve you putting pressure on your back.

8. Walking

A few weeks after back surgery, you can consider taking short walks. It is important that you stay active and get your circulation going after this procedure.

Put on a good pair of supportive shoes and take a short walk around your neighborhood. This can start at 10 minutes, and you can work your way up as you continue to recover.

This is a gentle option that will help to strengthen your legs and your core. It is also a great option for your back since you aren’t putting any pressure on that area.

Back Surgery: Post-Surgery Workouts

If you have just had back surgery, you may be wondering what exercises you can do. Exercising is important as it helps your body to gain its strength back.

This also promotes better blood circulation, which helps your body to heal better.

Do you need to talk to a surgeon about back issues? Contact us today at New York City Spine to contact one of our experts.

At New York City Spine Surgery, our standard for excellent care means treating you as a whole person, and not just another spine disorder on a chart.

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