A Guide to Physical Therapy after Spinal Fusion
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A spinal fusion is one of the more serious injuries that could impact your life. If you recently went through a spinal fusion, you will eventually want to go through physical therapy so that you can achieve mobility and a regular routine. However, you must take things easy, because you do not want to aggravate the injury. Here is a guide to physical therapy following a spinal fusion.
Dos and Don’ts
There are so many dos and don’ts with respect to a spinal fusion. A doctor will always tell you that trying to get back to your regular routine within one or two weeks is a bad idea, because you will only make things worse. However, it does not mean that you should just lay in bed all the time feeling sorry for yourself.
It is all about finding the right balance. And with the help of therapists at Bosh Physical Therapy, you can get yourself in a much better position to recover from this surgery.
During the first day, you should only be taking small walks. Your surgeon will let you know how much walking is appropriate given the specifics of your surgery.
During the second to seventh days, you should be stretching your hamstrings and quads regularly. Also, work on your middle back, because this can prevent adhesions or scarring in your nerves. Stretch slowly for around 30 seconds, and repeat the process three times. Do two sets each day.
Nerve stretches are also important. A nerve stretch is when you lie on your back with your legs flat on the ground. Then you lift a leg up until you feel something near the back of your thigh. Now support that leg by putting your hands under your knee. Pump your ankle while keeping the knee straight. You can do this for both legs one after the other.
Stabilization exercises are vital during these weeks. The goal is to move your arms and legs while ensuring that your lower trunk is not being rocked or arched. You are healing the area around your back, so you don’t want to exert or stretch that part of your body too much.
Examples of stabilization exercises include pelvic titles, marching in place, and extending your hip muscles while you lie on your stomach. If you are unsure about how to do any of those exercises, you may want to look them up online or watch a video of how they are performed. Proper form is so vital when you are rehabilitating from a spinal fusion, because bad form means you are not working the appropriate muscles and nerves.
When you get beyond the ninth week, you are at a stage where you can begin some dynamic exercises. But even though you will be eager to do more, it is so important that you speak with your doctor and physical therapist each time you want to change your routine. They are the only ones who can properly assess your spine and where you are at right now.