Recovery from Spinal Surgery – How can Physiotherapy help?
We often look after patients who are recovering from spinal surgery. There are many types of surgery and interventions that a spinal specialist will use to optimise the recovery of the patient – ranging from discectomy to rhizotomy, and decompression to fusion – the terminology can be confusing. What all orthopaedic and spinal specialists recommend however is a targeted and specific rehabilitation plan with a physiotherapist.
In patient recovery
Most surgical interventions see the patient getting out of bed independently less than 24 hours post surgery. On the hospital ward the Physiotherapists and the Nursing team work together to encourage as much movement as is recommended. This can be surprising for patients who have been dealing with acute and/or chronic back pain for a long period prior to surgery. The surgical approach of our spinal specialists these days has become so refined and skilful that the in-patient recovery time has significantly shortened in recent years. This is a big benefit for all concerned.
After the patient is discharged from hospital, they will be armed with a small advice leaflet to maintain an adequate baseline of activity – and this suffices for the initial 7-10 days post discharge.
After this the outpatient recovery ought to take on a more dynamic aspect as the rehabilitation progresses. The passage of time and long rest periods will indeed help in terms of tissue healing times. However an overly passive approach to back rehabilitation is not advised.
Spinal surgery patients at Personal Health
We have had a large amount of patients manage their journey to recovery in Personal Health. Some choose the clinic simply because of location, others because they feel reassured that we have experience. Word of mouth seems to be a deciding factor for many, as they have heard good reports. However for those undecided we can provide some further information.
The journey to an active lifestyle once again
The most obvious reason for spinal surgery is excessive pain levels. Often the pain has become so debilitating for people that their day to day function is simply no longer possible. The journey to living an active lifestyle once again is a rewarding one, but it takes some determination and patience. If one has chosen to go down the path of surgical intervention, why not optimise the outcomes?
From Purgatory to Heaven
We have a varied and fun (believe it or not) approach to rehabilitation. It ought not to feel like penance, rather an opportunity to move from Purgatory to Heaven. We use strengthening exercises for the lower limb – thighs and gluteal muscles in particular. Similarly, we look to improve range of motion either above or below the surgical site. This can involve the whole spinal column, divided into its component parts of lumbar, thoracic and cervical. Also the small matter of re-training countless postural muscles can be less like homework than it sounds.
The body is designed to move
While inhibited movement is a natural part of recovery, it is important to reduce our inhibitions around natural movement. Even post surgically, the spine remains a column of strong bone, connective tissue and muscle. The body is designed to move and rediscovering the joys of this is a great feeling for people in their rehabilitation.
To Book an appointment at pH ; Visit us online at www.personalhealth.ie or call 01 4964002