If you do end up having to have back surgery, please know that exercise will be an important part of your recovery. “Regular exercises to restore the strength of your back and a gradual return to everyday activities are important for your full recovery,” the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website reported. “Your orthopaedic surgeon and physical therapist may recommend that you exercise 10 to 30 minutes a day 1 to 3 times a day during your early recovery.” Exercises initially can include ankle pumps, heel slides, abdominal contractions, wall squats, heel raises and straight leg raises. During the intermediate portion of recovery, you will want to add other exercises, such as the single knee to chest stretch, the hamstring stretch, and a variety of lumbar stabilization exercises using an exercise ball. Exercises that will be added when you’ve reached an advanced level of recovery may include the hip flexor stretch, piriformis stretch and the lumbar stabilization exercise using an exercise ball. The association also recommends using a stationary bike or a treadmill for 20-30 minutes for aerobic exercises, making sure that the spine remains in a neutral position and the abdominal muscles are engaged in order to protect the lower back from injury.
Primary Sources for this Sharepost:
OrthoInfo.com. (2007). Low back pain exercise guide. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
The New York Times. (2011). Herniated Disk: Exercise and Physical Therapy.