Spinal surgery of any scale is a difficult endeavor that affects your ability to function properly in your day-to-day activities. Hence, an effective rehabilitation plan is critical for speeding up your recovery and helping you return to your normal life, and a strategic exercise program is an important element of that plan.
There are several back exercises that can be performed following surgery to help strengthen the spine and its supporting tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Furthermore, these exercises strengthen the abdominal and gluteus muscles that make up the “core” muscles of your body, providing the strength and flexibility of a healthy spine.
Easy Exercise Program
- Heel Slides – While lying on your back, slowly bend and straighten each knee 10 times.
- Leg Raises – While lying on your back, keep one leg straight and bend the knee in the other. Tightening abdominal muscles to stabilize the back, slowly lift your leg and hold the position for approximately 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times with each leg.
- Wall Squats – While leaning against a wall, place your feet 12 inches in front of your body. Tightening abdominal muscles, slowly bend the knees to a 45-degree ankle and hold the position for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Moderate Exercise Program
- Hamstring Stretch – While lying on your back, bend both legs and hold one thigh behind the knee. Slowly straighten your leg until there is a stretching sensation in the back of the thigh. Hold the position for 20 seconds. Repeat 5 times with each leg.
- Knee to Chest Stretch – While lying on your back, bend both legs and hold one thigh behind the knee. Bring the knee up to your chest and hold for approximately 20 seconds. Repeat 5 times with each leg.
Difficult Exercise Program
- Piriformis Stretch – While lying on your back, bend both legs and cross one over the other. Pull the other knee up to your chest until there is a stretching sensation in the hip. Hold the position for 20 seconds. Repeat 5 times with each leg.
- Ball Stretch (sitting) – While sitting on a ball, alternate raising each arm over your head. Alternate lifting each heel off the floor at the same time as the opposite arm.
- Ball Stretch (lying) – While lying on your stomach over a ball, “walk” with your hands until the ball is under your legs. Slowly alternate raising your arms over your head.
Ask an Expert About Back Exercises Following Surgery
Back surgery post op exercises are only effective if done with the utmost care, as not all exercise programs are right for everyone. Fortunately, you do not have to do this alone: At Coastal Orthopedics Sports Medicine & Pain Management, you can discuss your options with some of the most knowledgeable spine experts in Sarasota/Bradenton, FL. Call today!