When nonsurgical treatments aren’t doing enough, spine surgery may
help you reclaim your health and quality of life. For the best possible
outcome, it’s essential that spine surgery patients have access
to a comprehensive physical rehabilitation program. At
West Hills Hospital, our spine surgery patients have the full support of our specialists at
our Center for Fitness and Rehabilitation.
Starting a rehabilitation program
A physical therapist may begin working with you shortly after your spine
surgery. Initially, he or she will focus on helping you manage pain and
get back on your feet. After any surgery, physical movement is important
to prevent post-operative complications, such as blood clots in the legs.
As you recover, your physical therapist will introduce you to a
customized program of stretches and exercises. Your active participation in your rehabilitation and your willingness
to follow your therapist’s directions will support your recovery.
Stretching key muscle groups
Slow, careful stretching of certain muscle groups will support your physical
conditioning and reduce the risk of internal scar tissue. Your physical
therapist may guide you through stretches for your hamstrings and quadriceps.
For example, you can perform a seated hamstring stretch as follows:
- Sit on the edge of a chair.
- Extend one leg in front of you.
- Keep the heel on the floor.
- Keep the knee straight and the toes pointed upward.
Physical therapists generally recommend performing stretches slowly and
holding them for 30 seconds. Patients may do two sets of three repetitions each day.
Doing core strengthening exercises
As you progress further in your recovery, your spine surgeon may clear
you to begin performing core strengthening exercises. These can help support
your spine health. Watch this featured video to hear a surgeon from West
Hills Hospital explain the basics of improving core strength after spine
surgery. You can do core strengthening exercises without stressing the
spine. For example, your physical therapist may have you do the following exercise:
- Get on your hands and knees on the floor.
- Extend your right arm outward.
- Extend your left leg backward.
- Return to the starting position.
- Extend the opposite arm and leg.
Your physical therapist will make sure you’re performing exercises
properly to avoid placing strain on your spine.
At Center for Fitness and Rehabilitation at West Hills Hospital, you’ll
find dedicated rehabilitation specialists who provide the compassionate
care you deserve. We are a renowned
spine hospital located right here in the West Hills community to give you the resources
of a major medical facility without the lengthy drive. You can contact
our nurse referral line at (818) 676-4321.