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Exercises for failed back surgery syndrome treatment

Failed back surgery syndrome treatment often includes recommendations for specific physical activities. Although the pain and discomfort associated with a failed back surgery might lead someone to avoid exercise, staying active as safely possible has many benefits. Not only can certain exercises help strengthen the back, they may also reduce symptoms like anxiety and sleeplessness.

Before starting any failed back surgery syndrome treatment, particularly physical activity, it’s important to consult with a doctor. The wrong type of activity or intensity can potentially do more harm than good. Here’s some information about commonly recommended activities that can help as you work with your doctor to develop the right plan for you:


Swimming is frequently recommended for people with back pain because it combines the benefits of resistance training with the minimal impact associated with moving through water. Regularly taking laps around the pool can help build core muscle strength, which can provide better support to the spinal column and possibly relieve some failed back surgery syndrome symptoms.


Taking walks is one of the easiest ways to incorporate moderate activity into a daily routine. It requires no special equipment or training and has less impact on the body than activities involving running or jumping. Those motions can be jarring to the spine, while regular walking may help reduce the discomfort associated with failed back surgery syndrome.

Stretching and yoga

Stretching the muscles in and around the back can help to keep them flexible while strengthening them. Many people turn to yoga as a way to stretch and strengthen their core muscles, but for those with failed back surgery syndrome it’s important to stick to slower, gentler versions of the activity. More extreme poses, particularly those that involve twisting the spine, can worsen symptoms. Experienced instructors can generally develop plans tailored to a participant’s specific needs, so it’s important to mention back pain, previous surgeries and other potential limitations before beginning a session.

What to avoid

As mentioned above, activities that involve twisting the spine can be particularly detrimental to people who are undergoing failed back surgery syndrome treatment. That likely means not playing golf or tennis to avoid further damaging the spine. Heavy and improper lifting is also discouraged, be it in the gym or around the house. These activities can take a heavy toll on an already damaged spine.

If weeks or months of failed back surgery syndrome treatment doesn’t bring an improvement in your symptoms, another spine surgery may be presented as an option. If you are in this situation, you may want to consider minimally invasive spine surgery at USA Spine Care. Our outpatient procedures treat a wide range of spine conditions, including failed back surgery syndrome while offering patients a shorter recovery time and less risk of complication than traditional open back surgery. Contact us to learn about our outpatient procedures.

We’re pleased to provide a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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