Posted by | September 25 | 2019

The 9 Best Physiotherapy Exercises to Do after Low Back Surgery

If you’ve recently had lower back surgery, you know firsthand that physiotherapy is crucial. The goal of physiotherapy is to help you regain full motion and strength in your spine and flexibility in the muscles surrounding it. With regular appointments and consistency, you may be able to return to your previous lifestyle. Your physiotherapist will help you develop an exercise program that will not only improve your ability to move, but also help you prevent future problems in the area. Here are the 9 best physiotherapy exercises to help you heal after a lower back surgery.  

Postural Correction

Maintaining proper posture after back surgery is crucial for proper healing. It keeps your lower back in the right position to protect your lumbar discs and muscles and allow them to heal. Your physiotherapist will teach you how to sit properly by using a lumbar roll or by using the slouch-overcorrect procedure.

Prone Press Ups

One of the simplest and effective exercises to protect your back is the prone press up. It compresses the back of your healing discs and helps them get in the proper place in your lower back. Your physiotherapist will help you by asking you to lie face down on a yoga mat on the floor, with your hands flat on the floor under your shoulders. Then, you’ll need to relax your back and hips, and use your arms to push the upper part of your body up, while keeping your pelvis on the ground. Your spine will curl back and bend as you press up, as if you were a cobra snake.

Hamstring Stretch

Your hamstring muscles are located long the back of your thighs and these large muscles are attached to your pelvis. When they are tight, they can cause injury to the lower back, making it difficult to sit in a proper posture. Hamstring stretches are excellent for helping loosen up the tight muscles to reduce the strain on your back.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Your hip flexor muscles move your thighs forward and can get tight if you spend hours sitting after lower back surgery. When you seek out physiotherapy in Richmond Hill, your physiotherapist will help you target these muscles and gently stretch them to get better flexibility and strength over time.

Prone Straight Leg Raise

The prone straight leg raise can help improve your lower back strength. To perform this exercise, lie on your stomach, tighten your abdominal muscles, and slowly lift one leg up in the air. Hold the leg out and straight for up to two seconds, then slowly lower it down. Repeat this on each side for 10 to 15 repetitions.

Low Back Stretch

Another great stretch that directly targets the injured area and helps improve strength and mobility is the lower back stretch. However, like most of these exercises, this stretch needs to be performed gently and slowly to avoid injury. Your physiotherapist will help guide you through this stretch. Lie on your back on a firm surface and bend one knee and bring it toward your chest. Wrap your hands around your knee and gently pull until you feel a stretch on the same side of your lower back. Hold this position, then relax, then repeat it on the other side. Your physiotherapist will give you a modified version if this stretch is too uncomfortable.

Supine Lumbar Flexion

Another helpful exercise your physiotherapist may prescribe is a supine lumbar flexion exercise. This exercise helps to stretch out the scar tissue in your lower back from the surgery and improve your flexibility. You’ll need to lie on your back with your knees bent, and slowly lift your bent knees to your chest, grasping your knees with both hands. As you gently pull your knees to your chest, you will hold the position before slowly lowering your feet back down.

Sciatic Nerve Gliding

Sciatic nerve glides help improve flexibility, but must be performed gently. The more movement you have in your legs without discomfort, the better. If you push this exercise too hard, you may irritate your nerves and cause more pain. When you work with the physiotherapist, you will have the right coaching to perform this exercise safely. To perform this exercise, lie on your back with your left foot on the ground and your right knee pulling towards your chest while flexing your right foot. Slowly extend your leg and point your toes, straightening your legs as high as possible without pulling. Repeat this exercise at least ten times.

Lifting Techniques and Return to Work Activities

After a few weeks to months of training your spinal area to heal and regain mobility, it may be time to begin working on specific activities to help you get back to normal. Depending on your work, you may need to practice lifting medium to heavy objects properly. Or, you may be in a position that requires you to sit at a desk for hours. Your physiotherapist will have you practice proper lifting techniques and train you to memorize the method, so you don’t injure your spine again.

Seek Physiotherapy after Back Surgery at MedRehab Group

If you’re looking for back pain treatment in Richmond Hill and are looking for the best physiotherapy clinic near you, look no further than MedRehab Group. Our team of physiotherapists and specialists can help you heal from surgery, chronic pain, injuries, and other physical health conditions. We serve clients in Brampton, Georgetown, Hamilton, Toronto, Richmond Hill/Maple, Vaughan, Woodbridge, and Pickering. We strive to do our best to meet our clients’ expectations. Contact us at 1-888-409-4058 to learn more and book your first consultation.

Image Credit: iStock.con/aykuterd

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