When Should You Start Exercising Again After Back Surgery?

Recovery timelines following back surgery can vary greatly depending on the type of procedure performed, the individual’s health status, and their body’s unique healing process. However, it is critical to adhere to the specific guidelines provided by your doctor or physical therapist before resuming exercise after back surgery.

Typically, some forms of light activity such as walking may be recommended within a few days to a week after surgery to promote blood flow and help prevent complications such as blood clots. Walking can gradually be increased as comfort and stamina allow.

More vigorous exercise, including strength training or aerobic workouts, may be introduced later, often after several weeks or even months, under the guidance of a physical therapist. This is typically a gradual process, starting with gentle stretches and low-impact exercises. As your back heals and your strength and flexibility improve, more intensive exercises may be introduced.

It’s crucial to listen to your body during this time. If you experience any pain or discomfort during or after exercise, it’s important to stop and consult with your healthcare provider. Never push through pain, as it may indicate that you’re overworking your body or risking re-injury.

Lastly, it’s essential to incorporate exercises and practices that strengthen the back and core muscles into your routine. This can provide better support for your spine and help prevent future injuries. But again, these should only be started when approved by your healthcare provider.

In conclusion, while it’s beneficial to start exercising as soon as possible after back surgery, this must always be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional, and a patient should never rush the process. The key is to balance activity with rest, allowing your body ample time to heal.

Virginia Spine Specialists is an award-winning, minimally invasive spinal care practice with locations in Fredericksburg, VA and Manassas, VA. We also serve these Northern and Central Virginia locations: Haymarket, Gainesville, Culpepper, Front Royal, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Colonial Beach, Tappahannock and Lake Anna.