Sustaining spinal cord injuries can alter one’s lifestyle. Some are so serious that physical abilities are compromised permanently, but for those injuries that have been addressed properly and corrected, it’s imperative to ease into normal physical functioning as soon as doctors issue a clearance to prevent atrophy and other negative physical effects.
Rehabilitation normally takes care of this, and with the help of physical therapists and a set of exercises, people with spinal cord injury can regain their strength and mobility. But when monitored rehabilitation is over, a New Jersey spine surgeon says, committing to a regular fitness routine will contribute significantly in the complete effectiveness of the spine surgery by strengthening the spine and protecting it from future injuries and pains. A variety of physical activities are recommended – some are strenuous, but all of them are completely safe for the spine.
Provided below are some of the exercises for people dealing with spinal cord injury that spine surgeons recommend. These are safe, enjoyable and effective, especially in managing pains.
1. Lumbar spine stabilization exercise – It’s composed of movements used in physical therapy that a patient can then eventually execute on his own. These movements strengthen muscles and support the spine to prevent lower back pain and restore the person’s natural neutral spine position.
2. Water aerobics – These have got to be the safest and most popular exercises. With the buoyancy of water, movements do not put too much stress on the spine, but at the same time, the resistance of the water ensures an effective workout. It’s important to mention as well that if the pool is the heated kind, the exercises may harness some other therapeutic benefits as well.
3. Stretching – This is composed of different types of exercises; it addresses progressive stiffness that normally happens after a period of inactivity. PTs teach patients how to correctly execute stretching exercises so discs, muscles, ligaments, and tendons can regain elasticity and flexibility without putting any strain on the injured area. They also introduce different exercise equipment to make the exercise easier, safer and more effective. The first exercise, LSSE, actually falls under this category.
4. Stationary biking – This improves strength and provides aerobic conditioning with minimal impact on the spine. It can also help a person lose weight, which can ease some of the burden the spine bears.
5. Walking – Not only is this a great cardiovascular exercise, but when done in a continuous and sustained pace for about 20 to 30 minutes (which is what orthopedic doctors and PTs recommend), spine health can be thoroughly supported.