Decompression Posture Video

Laser Spine Institute recommends the decompression posture after surgery

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.


The decompression posture

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:

  • Step 1 — Lie on your back with your legs extended outward and one or two pillows positioned under your knees. For additional comfort, you can also place a pillow under your head and neck.
  • Step 2 — To help relax your shoulders, place your arms at your sides with your palms turned upward (toward the ceiling).
  • Step 3 — Complete several deep inhalations and exhalations. While in the decompression posture, you can also ice your surgical site.


Icing your surgical site

To decrease swelling and increase your comfort, you can use an ice pack while practicing the decompression posture. After settling into the position:

  • Step 1 — Roll onto your side to allow enough room to place a cold pack on your back at the site of your incision.
  • Step 2 — Place an ice pack (wrapped in a towel or pillowcase) on the bed, couch or floor directly under your surgical site.
  • Step 3 — Slowly roll back on top of the ice pack and maintain the position for 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure not to apply ice for longer periods of time, because this can irritate sensitive skin.

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.