In terms of back and neck pain treatment, surgery should always be a last resort. Only when conservative methods fail to provide any relief should you consider back surgery.
It is perfectly understandable if you are nervous about pursuing surgery. You may be worried that the pain will return post-op or that recovery will be painful, long, and complicated. Fret not, because there are many ways to prevent such issues – one of which is physical therapy.
Benefits Of Physical Therapy After Back Surgery
The benefits of physical therapy are numerous. Here are some of them:
Helps Activate Back Muscles
After surgery, some smaller muscles in the surgical area may become repressed. However, even if these muscles are minor, they play a major role in maintaining your spine’s stability.
Physical therapy can help activate these back muscles gently and gradually. Through the prescribed exercises, you can ensure these muscles are functioning properly. It can also help reduce pressure on the surgical site.
Encourages Blood Flow
The activity and movement brought about by physical therapy can help encourage blood flow. When there is healthy blood flow, the inflow of oxygen and needed nutrients go through to the surgical site. This cycle enables the body to heal faster.
If there is a lack of oxygen, there may be a delay in bone growth and the healing of tissues. These two factors are crucial during recovery.
During your recovery period, you may be less active. Because of this, you may lose your range of motion. You may also develop a stiff body.
With physical therapy, you won’t have to suffer from this. You will find that movement is more manageable, your back mobility is improved, and your stiffness is eased.
What Are The Goals Of Physical Therapy?
One of the major tasks of physical therapy is to help you manage pain. It’s normal to experience some discomfort after surgery, most especially after you’re done taking painkillers. It can also help reduce your need for pain medication, which is always a good thing.
After surgery, you must exercise by all means to avoid inflammation. Inflammation can possibly lead to other back pain conditions that can get in the way of your recovery. With physical therapy, you’ll learn how to move properly while avoiding the risk of inflammation.
Stabilize And Strengthen Your Back
Post-surgery, you may feel weaker, especially in your back. A restored strength is always a good indication of an on-track recovery. With the help of physical therapy, you’ll be able to prepare your body for everyday activities like walking, climbing stairs, and carrying things safely.
Prevent Further Injury
Lastly, if you have undergone surgery, you are at risk for injury. With that in mind, it is crucial to know how to prevent future issues. A physical therapist can give you insight into the dos and don’ts for a successful recovery. This can include lifestyle changes, maintaining proper posture, and doing the best exercises for you.
What To Expect From Physical Therapy
Ready for your physical therapy session? Here are some things you may expect:
Your doctor will encourage you to get out of bed as soon as possible after surgery. The sooner you start moving, the faster your recovery will be. It is encouraged that you meet your physical therapist a few days after your surgery to get started as soon as your wound heals.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to physical therapy. As such, a thorough evaluation is important. This will help your therapist customize a plan for you.
Here are some of the things that may be included in your evaluation:
- Medical history
- Assessment of posture and range of motion
- Flexibility tests and strength measurement
- Scar tissue assessment
Your physical therapy treatment will be designed to fit your specific needs. It can include a combination of:
- Physical modalities
Reliable Back Surgery In Parker, CO
Here at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, we understand that back pain can greatly impair your quality of life. Our team of highly-experienced spine surgeons is ready to help – from diagnosis to post-surgical recovery.
Ready to schedule an appointment with our spine doctors? Call us today at (303) 790-1800 or use our easy online appointment request form. Let us help you get rid of back pain for good!