Any sort of spine surgery is a major type of surgical procedure. The spine is an essential part of our mobility and rehabilitation is crucial to enable you to recover quickly and reap the benefits of your procedure.
Following your spine surgery with Dr. Rovner, you will be recommended to take an initial period of immobilization and rest which will kick start your recovery. However, after this time, you may be referred to a top physical therapist (PT) to further aid your recovery and help you achieve the best possible results from your spine surgery.
What can physical therapy help with after spine surgery?
Physical therapists are particularly well-suited to guiding you through orthopedic recovery as the majority of their treatment is targeted at re-balancing your musculoskeletal system so that you can perform the functions that matter to you most and enjoy an improved quality of life. Some of the more specific ways in which physical therapy can help after spine surgery include the following:
Helping you to control your pain. Your PT will do this using a combination of different measures such as ice application, electrical devices such as TENS units and specific movements of the spine and limbs.
Helping you to build muscle strength. The back is full of muscles that help support and stabilize our spine and facilitate movement. Your PT may recommend exercise therapy to build strength in these muscles, including those in the incision area, those that have been weakened by nerve problems and the small muscles around each vertebra.
Improve mobility in your spine and body. Some patients find that their mobility and flexibility has been limited as a result of their spine surgery. This can include restriction in the movements of their shoulders and hips that make day to day functions difficult. Your PT can perform physical exercises with you that will help to regain your mobility safely and at a pace that you find comfortable.
General exercise and education following spine surgery. Although moving around and exercising may feel like the last thing you want to do, physical activity is essential for your recovery. It can stop your muscles from wasting, promotes healing and can even help prevent further issues with back pain in the future. As such, your PT will work with you to establish a range of exercises that you should be performing at home and will give you specific advice relating to movement and how to prevent any damaging activities or exercises.
The goals that are set by your physical therapist will normally always be related to a specific functional task that you have identified your ability to complete as being limited. As a result of meeting your goals, you should be able to notice a considerable improvement in your ability to perform your chosen tasks. This can be anything from walking properly to being able to walk up a flight of steps. Your PT will work closely with Dr. Rovner to ensure that your body is recovering as expected and that your quality of life will continue to improve.