Tighten your abdominal muscles as you tilt your pelvis posteriorly, and hold the position for 2 seconds. Dr. Tyndall: Make sure you are fully recovered from surgery before rushing back. Starting a walking program after back surgery sounds easy; you just go out and walk, right? Also, depending on the procedure, patients can resume physical activities if the symptoms that led to the surgery are resolved. Fax: (920) 215-2060 Because walking helps to improve blood flow throughout your body. This eventually requires strengthening of the muscles that surround the spine (the core muscles), the glutes, and lower extremity muscles. He recently finished second in a recent tournament, which is an incredible feat. Ask questions. Get help! After back surgery, you must work to maintain proper posture when you are sitting and standing. Postural control is essential as it keeps your low back in the optimal position to protect your healing lumbar discs and muscles. By Jill Murphy, DPT, LAT, CSCS. After your lumbar laminectomy and discectomy surgery, your physical therapist may prescribe specific exercises, called sciatic nerve glides, to help stretch and improve the way your sciatic nerve moves in your back. This can help free the adhered nerve root and allow for normal motion to occur. This exercise can be difficult to properly perform, so be sure to check in with your PT before you start to avoid common errors that may make the exercise ineffective. This can help safely stretch your low-back muscles. Read these tips for making exercise easier—while still effective—when dealing with low back pain. Dr. Tyndall: After a microdiscectomy or lumbar fusion, core exercises and exercises that stretch the hamstrings are important to helping patients return to their activities. Therefore, post-operative rehabilitation requires us to consider all the aspects that can facilitate healing of the tissues and minimize stress to the structures, especially in the early healing process. The basic scientific knowledge of tissue healing, ranging from healing of skin to healing of the bone, can assist us in our recommendations for patients. For people who have a more complex open surgery, you may have to wait between 4 and 6 months after your procedure to safely exercise again. Lie face down on a yoga mat on the floor and place both hands flat on the floor under your shoulders. If you’re eager to get back in the gym after your back or neck procedure, you need to be smart, slow, and steady. One day could be good, but the next might be painful. This helps to bring in oxygen and nutrients to your spinal muscles and tissues as they heal. You may find that your recovery journey feels like you’re moving 2 steps forward and 1 step back. Home Care Instructions after . Walking is one of the best exercises you can do after a lumbar laminectomy or discectomy surgery. Why? But rushing back to your pre-surgery activities could saddle you with a lot of pain and possibly even set your recovery back. 7 Tips for Exercising When You Have Chronic Pain, Kyphoplasty, Vertebroplasty, Vertebral Augmentation Implant: Treatments for Spinal Compression Fractures, Smoking, Tobacco Use, e-Cigarettes and Spine Surgery, 7 Meal Plan Tips for Spine Surgery Recovery, How Kettlebell Exercises Can Help Your Back Pain, Preparing for Spine Surgery: Diet Makes a Difference. This may be a sign of an adhered sciatic nerve root, a common problem in people with sciatica. What You Should Know About Exercising After Spine Surgery. Question: How should I work back into weight training after undergoing a microdiscectomy in the lumbar spine? It added, “Microdiscectomy is considered a very effective and safe operation with a very high success rate.” The Spine Center’s surgeons have a combined 50 years of medical experience, including a thorough understanding and history of performing microdiscectomies. Hold the straight leg up for 2 seconds, and then slowly lower it down. Above all, follow your spine surgeon’s instructions for safely exercising after spine surgery. By working with your doctor and physical therapist, you can be sure to improve your range of motion, strength, and functional mobility in order to return to your previous level of function quickly and safely. Sign up to receive free updates on back pain treatments, research, and doctor-reviewed spine health information. Photo Source: 123RF.com. Increase your level of exertion gradually and adjust accordingly. Note that before embarking on any exercise program, you'll need to get prior clearance from your physician to ensure that these moves are safe for you to do. Therefore, an experienced physical therapist who understands functional rehabilitation is essential in the rehabilitation of all patients, especially those who put high demands on the spine, such as injured workers and athletes. Brett Sears, PT, MDT, is a physical therapist with over 15 years of experience in orthopedic and hospital-based therapy. Keep your back and your hips relaxed, and use your arms to press the upper part of your body up while allowing your lower back to remain against the floor. 4 You have to allow yourself the time to recover from surgery and gradually work your way back to your pre-surgery fitness routine and fitness level. Physical therapy and rehabilitation requires a gentle progression to mobilize tissues according to what has been done in surgery. After surgery, you may notice that your leg feels tight whenever you straighten it out all the way. Exercise is not only recommended, it’s required to help retrain the muscles in your back. To help provide some basic guidelines around safely exercising after spine surgery, SpineUniverse reached out to Dwight S. Tyndall, MD, FAAOS, an orthopaedic spine surgeon at Orthopaedic Specialists of Northwest Indiana in Munster, IN. Lumbar spine surgery has several uses in the practice of neurosurgery 1 2. The exercise can be performed several times to help improve the way your sciatic nerve moves and glides in your low back and leg. After a lumbar laminectomy and discectomy, your physical therapist may prescribe exercises to help improve your abdominal strength. Your physical therapist (PT) will also work with you to develop an exercise program that you can do to help prevent future problems with your spine. To perform the exercise: Be sure to stop the exercise if you are experiencing an increase in pain in your low back, buttocks, or legs. Tight hamstrings can contribute back pain, so getting them loose and flexible will go a long way in aiding recovery. It can also be used to gently stretch the scar tissue in your low-back from the surgical incision. After your low-back surgery, your physical therapist may prescribe gentle back flexion exercises. The surgery itself creates the platform for appropriate rehabilitation, so that patients can return to their normal daily functioning and sport activities. New Jersey Regenerative Institute Johns Hopkins Medicine. This means you need to learn how to activate your spine stabilizing muscles (transversus abdominus and obliques), instead of your rectus abdominus to get the job done. Advanced hip strengthening exercises may be started to help you gain strength and stability in the muscles that surround your pelvic area and low back. I fully agree with Dr. Tyndall: The process should not be rushed, and patients should listen to their bodies as they recover. Photo Source: 123RF.com. You may benefit from physical therapy after a lumbar laminectomy and discectomy to help you fully recover. The goals of low-back rehab after surgery are to help you regain full range of motion and strength in your spine and to help you return to your previous lifestyle. It will ensure that the long term effects of the L5S1 microdiscectomy will be positive! Three years after my microdiscectomy…I’m gaining weight… My doctor told me that maintaining a healthy weight will prevent re-herniation and help me make a smooth microdiscectomy recovery. Physical Therapy ♦ Manual Therapy ♦ Spine Therapy ♦ Sports Medicine ♦ Free Injury Screenings If you have any questions or concerns, please ask your nurse or doctor. Phone: 920-215-2050 Fortunately, the best thing you can do to improve your herniated disc is to exercise! How should I work back into weight training after undergoing a microdiscectomy in the lumbar spine. This involves performing specific motions for your hips and legs while maintaining the pelvic neutral position. Once you have mastered the posterior pelvic tilt, you can progress your abdominal and core strengthening program. Cedar Knolls, NJ. 3 More specifically, spinal stabilization exercises help more than a general exercise program. One of your physical therapy goals after lumbar laminectomy and discectomy may be to improve the strength and stability of your low-back muscles. Hold the press-up position for 2 seconds, and then slowly lower back down to the starting position. A lumbar laminectomy and discectomy is a surgical procedure that your orthopedic or neurologic surgeon may perform to help decrease pain and improve mobility. Comparison of longitudinal sciatic nerve movement with different mobilization exercises: An in vivo study utilizing ultrasound imaging.