Exercise Prior to Spine Fusion Surgery

A spinal fusion involves the uniting or welding together of the vertebrae using spinal instrumentation. It can be used to treat degenerative disc disease, spinal curvatures, and other spinal problems (weakness and stability). Spinal fusion can be performed at any level of spine to treat the diseased area. The aim of this surgical technique is to prevent movement between the fused vertebrae, reduce pain or correct spinal defect. Spinal surgery in India is offered with the latest surgical techniques, including minimally invasive spine surgery, to provide the best results to the patients. Minimally invasive spine surgery is advanced method which allows the patient to have a faster recovery, shorter hospitalization, less post-operative pain and discomfort.

Spinal surgery is a major operation and is scary to most people. Before the surgery, several tests including imaging diagnosis are performed to evaluate the patient’s overall health and spinal condition. There are several things you can do prior to the spinal fusion to ensure successful outcomes. One of them is exercise. Although rehabilitation traditionally begins after the post surgery, it can be started before the surgery, called as pre-rehabilitation. It is an ideal time to prepare your body for an optimal recovery.

It is usually recommended taking daily walks or do aerobic and/or cardio exercise, if approved by the doctor. Other suggested activities include swimming and deep breathing exercises. Taking part in physical activities is very important and will benefit in your recovery after surgery. Your surgeon may also request you to take physical therapy to enhance the level of conditioning before surgery. You can get in touch with a physical therapist to ensure a proper conditioning prior to spine fusion surgery. This includes core strengthening for spine. Core is important while considering spine surgery to get rid of your back pain and is suggested by the surgeons, depending on the case. This is because the core muscles, especially the abdominal muscles, provide stability and support to the spine. A weak core can, in fact, lead to a back injury and also slow down the healing post-surgery.

Exercise is, generally, important not only for maintaining a good overall health, but also when it comes to reducing back pain. Research studies have found regular exercise to reduce the risk of back injury as well as problems such as lower back pain a significant amount.

However, there are certain exercise that are more effective than others in dealing with back problems. But it is strongly recommended that you talk to your spine surgeon before doing anything. The exercises may strain your muscles and cause more damage than good.

Not all exercises are beneficial for managing low back pain, and if done in the wrong way, may even cause injury and even aggravate pain.

For example, standing toe touch exercise can put more stress on the vertebral discs and ligaments of the spine. It can also lead to over stretching of the lower back muscles and hamstrings. Other exercises such as sit-ups – where you sit all the way up – may also be hard on the back muscles, because they put a lot of pressure on the discs in the spine.

Some Exercises That Can Help Your Back Include

The McKenzie Method: This method is a standard approach of exercise that mainly focuses on the core and back muscles. According to the experts, these muscles mainly support and minimize the strain on the spine. The McKenzie program is particularly specialized for spinal problems. This exercises can be specifically recommended on the based of the specific area to be treated.

Crunch: In these crunches, one doesn’t raise the whole upper part all the way up. This is generally recommended for core strengthening and the pressure is reduced. It can also be done using an exercise ball so that it cushions the affected area.

Plank: It is known to be a low-impact exercise and is one of the most famous fitness tools or methods for building up the core strength. If you are focusing on managing your low-back pain, it is advisable to tighten your stomach during the plank.  According to the specialists, with plank there is an advantage of needing very less movement while contracting abdominal muscles. When it is done in a proper way, planks engage not only the deep stomach muscles, but the muscles of hip, shoulder and upper-back also.

Experts suggest that a core strength exercise program can be started at least three months prior to spine surgery. However, it doesn’t mean that you should start with this as soon as possible. When the surgery is needed, the spine surgeon will formulate a plan for you for the coming days before the procedure.

Aerobic exercise are also suggested for people with back conditions. During aerobics, your heart rate elevates and blood circulation improves. Aerobic exercise can also help provide relief from back pain by reducing stiffness and improving the blood flow to the spinal structures. This also increases the amount of nutrients that reach the spine.