In most instances, physical therapy is a critical component to your recovery after spine surgery. Physical therapy will help improve your flexibility and range of motion, strengthen back muscles, and facilitate proper healing in the surgical region. In addition, you’ll build up your core (the muscles surrounding your spine) in order to reduce the stress on your spinal column moving forward.
Your spine is highly complex, and often muscles surrounding it are forced to compensate to address limitations caused by pain prior to surgery. Physical therapy gives the muscles around your spine the attention they need to restore proper function as you heal. This ensures you experience better mobility and less pain following surgery.
The overarching goal for physical therapy after spine surgery is to restore the fully functional, pain free life you enjoyed prior to suffering your back injury. However, there are also a wide range of smaller goals for the process that will all contribute to your ability to achieve this overarching goal. These may include:
When you start physical therapy, these goals will be discussed with you and a customized plan will be developed to facilitate the best possible recovery. This plan will include treatments performed during your physical therapy sessions as well as exercises for you to do each day at home. Our physical therapists will monitor your progress throughout the process and make any modifications to your plan as needed.
You’ll begin in-patient physical therapy within a few days of surgery. The sooner you begin performing basic movements, the better. This will minimize the time your body has to stiffen after surgery. At first, your exercises will be very limited in scope, but they’ll increase in complexity as your back heals.
Outpatient physical therapy will begin 6-12 weeks after your procedure, depending on the type of spine surgery performed. Your sessions typically last 45 minutes to an hour. During these sessions, you may receive a variety of treatments intended to improve strength and range of motion. These may include:
You’ll also receive a regimen of exercises to perform at home in between your PT sessions to help you get the most out of your treatment. Common exercises may include:
Physical therapy is crucial to your ability to fully recover after spine surgery. There are several steps you can take to ensure you reap the full rewards from your physical therapy:
At Colorado Advanced Orthopedics, we can handle all of your physical therapy. We have an in-house clinic located in Pioneers Medical Center as well as two outpatient clinics, giving you a variety of convenient locations to complete your rehab.
When you complete your spine surgery and physical therapy at Colorado Advanced Orthopedics, you’ll benefit from greater collaboration between your surgical and PT teams than is possible when you go to a third-party clinic for your PT. This ensures both teams will be in full alignment on your rehabilitation plan, which is critical to experiencing the best possible outcome.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Colorado Advanced Orthopedics serves patients in Meeker and throughout the White River Valley.
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