According to the experts at Laser Spine Institute, physical therapy in the form of gentle stretching and spinal decompression exercises is important after neck or back surgery — even if you had a minimally invasive procedure, and even if you are experiencing significant pain relief. Following surgery at Laser Spine Institute, spinal decompression exercises are the best way to rest your back and help your core muscles resume their proper function, which can both maximize your recovery and minimize the likelihood of future problems. Of course, you should always speak with your physician prior to starting any new exercise program.
Throughout your recovery, your physician or therapist from Laser Spine Institute will likely recommend periodically decompressing your spine through a series of postures and stretches. These spinal decompression exercises can temporarily change the position of your spinal components and shift the weight of your body away from the intervertebral discs (the protective, gel-like cushions that separate the vertebrae). This will reduce the pressure on your spine, and also promote blood flow and encourage the movement of water, oxygen and essential nutrients into the discs to enhance the healing process.
As explained by the experts at Laser Spine Institute, the decompression posture is an easy and effective way to accomplish this. You can perform this simple stretch on a bed, couch, floor or any other flat surface where you feel comfortable. Here’s what to do:
To decrease swelling and increase your comfort, you can use an ice pack while practicing the decompression posture. After settling into the position:
You can repeat this sequence every two hours for two to three days after your surgery, and then two to three times per day as needed thereafter.
Your physician at Laser Spine Institute may encourage you to incorporate the decompression posture and ice application into your daily routine. You can also use these techniques indefinitely as needed for pain relief and increased comfort, especially after strenuous activities.
If you have questions or would like further information about your recovery from spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute.
The Laser Spine Institute Exercise Video Series, including all functional activities, post-surgical exercises and descriptions were designed specifically for Laser Spine Institute patients only. If you have not been prescribed these exercises, you should contact your physician before starting this or any exercise program. Exercise is not without its risks, and this or any other exercise program may result in injury. Risks include, but are not limited to: risk of injury, aggravation of a pre-existing condition, or adverse effect of over-exertion such as muscle strain, abnormal blood pressure, fainting and disorders of heart beat. As with any exercise program, if at any point during your workout you begin to feel faint, dizzy, or have physical discomfort, you should stop immediately and consult your surgeon's liaison or physician.