When is physical therapy necessary after back surgery?

Although minimally invasive spine surgery is a large step in the right direction for more efficient treatment of back pain, it is still surgery. Your body is normally very sensitive to changes in its environment, and even minimally invasive spine surgery can have a disruptive reaction. If you are feeling as if you are fit and clear of back pain right after your back surgery, don’t go out running just yet.

Practicing physical therapy to take care of your spine and back pain after surgery is a lot like keeping your house clean. Even if you take a whole day to mop the floors and wipe the walls, the dust will come back if you don’t keep a consistent schedule. In order to get the best results out of your back surgery, it is recommended that you learn and practice proper back protection, balance, and posture as soon as you can. Why is this necessary, and what do physical therapists recommend?

Watching out for Symptoms

In some cases, patients may still be feeling pain symptoms after their minimally invasive back surgery. This does not mean the surgery did not work, it may be more likely that your body is just recovering from the surgery. Many spine surgeons can consult with their patients after the surgery on what the best strategies for alleviating or avoiding pain are. Usually, this means identifying positions that help calm the pain symptoms, but also finding what positions are putting unnecessary stress on the spine. Posture education can go far in not only helping patients alleviate pain symptoms after minimally invasive back surgery, but also help maintain a proper alignment of their spine in the future.

Spine Strengthening

Typically, when a patient must undergo a minimally invasive back surgery, it is because of a degenerative or herniated disc located in their lower back. Many physical therapists encourage strengthening the area where these discs are located, sometimes referred to as the trunk muscles. This is because the trunk muscles are protecting the individual segments of the spine. While they are normally not disturbed during a minimally invasive back surgery, it is still best to follow an exercise or therapy routine after a procedure in order to ensure better results for spinal health.

In the physical therapy field, every practitioner is going to have their own unique bit of advice and consulting to give to patients of minimally invasive back surgery. However, what is listed above is generally agreed upon to be the physical therapy that patients should undergo after spinal surgery. If you are experiencing chronic back pain in the New Jersey area, contact us at the Spine Institute to find out what we can do to help.