When Can You Exercise After Back Surgery?

While some may like the idea of having an excuse to rest after a back surgery, not moving around for a long period of time can quickly become unbearable. However, you also don’t want to be putting too much stress on the area of your back that was operated. After surgery, recovery can be a sensitive process. That process is at risk if the patient undergoes intense exercise or physical activity. When deciding if you can exercise after a back surgery, consider: What kind of surgery was it? How long has it been since the surgery? What kind of exercises can you do?

Type of Surgery

At the Spine Institute, we specialize in minimally invasive surgeries for the spine. The benefits of a minimally invasive surgery over a traditional one is that it doesn’t disturb muscle tissue or bones that aren’t affecting the back pain, it’s a faster procedure, and the patients normally see a speedy recovery. Many spinal surgeons use the micro-discectomy method of back surgery nowadays. If the surgery is of a more traditional type, then you may have to expect to wait weeks – or months – before being able to start even a small workout routine.

How Long Has it Been?

As strange as it may sound, early efforts to exercise and stretch generally helps patients heal sooner after a back surgery. Long stretches without motion can limit your body’s movement, and that limited movement can be a cause of unnecessary back pain. Many patients are reported to feel better sooner when they attempt to return to their daily routine earlier. Of course, everyone is different, and you should check with your doctor on what is best for you.

What Kind of Exercise Can You Do After Back Surgery?

If physical therapy is not an option, there are fortunately other types of exercises available for those who have just had back surgery. Walking is a preferred activity as it allows your body to stretch without putting extra stress on your spine. There are also a variety of specialized stretches patients can practice after back surgery. The most important thing is to not overdo it. If something feels wrong, or you are experiencing pain from even this type of exercise, don’t push it and consult with your doctor on what you should do.

If you are experiencing back pain in the New Jersey area and are trying to see what the best plan to approach it is, contact us at the Spine Institute. An appointment with us means discussing what your options are, and how they can help alleviate your back pain.