Physiotherapy after Spinal Surgery

Spinal surgery is a major event and the physiotherapy and rehabilitation that follows afterwards is equally important. A surgery isn’t fully beneficial unless it’s accompanied by recovery from the back surgery and getting the body back into peak physical form.

The role of physiotherapy cannot be over-emphasized in the recovery from spinal surgery. Here are a few ways that a trained physiotherapist helps rehabilitate his patients:

Pain Control after surgery: Physical therapists are trained professionals, who work in conjunction with your doctor to help you recover from the surgery. The first step is always to find ways to reduce the pain. Only when the pain comes down will you feel encouraged to follow the rehabilitation program designed specifically for you.

While some level of pain is to be expected, there are some basic ways of keeping it minimized. Ice application is a very simple way to reduce swelling, redness as well as pain around the surgical site. The physiotherapist can also teach you about maintaining certain positions or following certain types of movements that will relax and rejuvenate the muscles. When nothing else helps, electrical devices are used.

The physiotherapist should go through with the patient in a step-wise manner regarding his/her recovery process and the lifestyle changes needed to achieve complete normalcy.

A Tailored Training regime: Since each patient’s body type is unique, so also will be their training program; the type of surgery and tissue type affected will also affect the designing of each patient’s rehabilitation regime. Physiotherapists typically focus their energies on muscle facilitation, especially on those muscles that need re-training to gain strength and provide stability to the surgical area. Such rehabilitation regimes would focus on the muscles at the incision area, muscles that underwent weakening due to the underlying problem before surgery and of course of the small muscles that hold each vertebra, thereby providing stability to the spine itself.

Limitation of movement may also result from the surgery, so the therapist works on regaining movement in that area too.

Exercise to Recover: Exercising the body helps in healing, strengthening the muscles damaged by the surgery as well as minimizing any future chances of back pain. As the therapist and patient work together, the therapist finds alternatives for the exercises the patient is unable to tolerate as there are numerous exercises available. He also encourages them to continue practicing at home so they can get back to normal life at the earliest.

Information and Education: During the interaction with the physiotherapist, the patient has the opportunity to learn a lot about what happened to their body during the surgery and how to get maximal benefit out of it. A successful spine surgery depends on how hard the patient is willing to continue working out at home. Ideally, the surgery puts the patient on the road to recovery, but the rest is dependent on the patient and his physiotherapist….

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