Exercise can be highly beneficial for people with failed back surgery syndrome. Regular, low-impact cardio can be helpful, and stretching and strengthening exercises are important as well. In fact, for many people, physical therapy and at-home exercise are core parts of treatment.
When it comes to stretching and strengthening exercises, it’s especially important to work closely with a physician or physical therapist. Certain movements, such as those require twisting of the spine, can make failed back surgery syndrome symptoms worse. And, depending on the part of the spine that was operated on, certain movements may need to be avoided. An experienced professional can help each patient create a custom exercise plan that’s ideal for his or her unique needs.
Low-impact daily exercise
Developing a daily cardio plan can be a bit easier, although it’s still important to talk about any potential ideas with a physician. As a general rule of thumb, however, anything that does not jolt, jostle, twist the spine may be appropriate. Running, golfing, and playing tennis, for example, are not advised, while the following activities are usually safe after a failed back surgery:
- Walking (outdoors on a flat surface such as a sidewalk, or indoors on a treadmill)
- Gentle yoga (taking care to ask for modifications during spine-stretching postures)
- Tai Chi
Important tips for exercising after back surgery
No matter which exercises you choose, it’s crucial to listen to your body. Nothing should cause sharp pain or discomfort. If a movement feels wrong, stop right away – don’t feel as though you must finish the exercise just for the sake of finishing. And if you aren’t quite sure how to complete a prescribed exercise, don’t hesitate to ask for better instructions. Proper form is key.
Of course, even with exercise and other common treatments, failed back surgery syndrome can still cause persistent pain. At USA Spine Care, we perform minimally invasive spine surgery that can help address discomfort experienced after a failed back surgery. You can contact us to find out if you are a candidate for minimally invasive, outpatient surgery at USA Spine Care.
Browse Related Resources