Most patients who undergo minimally invasive spine surgery return for their follow-up appointment bringing with confidence and amazed at how quickly they felt better after the procedure. Though we love to hear this kind of success, we also urge our patients to take it easy and allow themselves to heal.
A big part of returning to full mobility and a pain-free life lies in strengthening the muscles and improving core strength and flexibility. Hydrotherapy can be an extremely effective and enjoyable way to accomplish these goals.
Hydrotherapy facilities and water aerobics classes are becoming more and more popular. They provide the ideal environment for those who are recovering from spine procedures because they allow movement and strengthening without the impact of the body’s weight. By getting this type of gentle exercise you are able to build strength in the muscles with very little risk of injury. Increased blood flow hastens healing and will go a long way to restoring your energy after your procedure.
Hydrotherapy gives spine surgery patients the ability to perform range of motion exercises while in a virtually weightless state. They are able to strengthen as a result of the resistance that the water provides, and perform balance exercises that would be more difficult on land, as the water provides a degree of support for weakened muscles, all without putting additional stress on the areas where the surgery was performed.
In addition to the physical advantages that water therapy provides after spine surgery, performing water-based exercises accomplishes other, more psychological and emotional goals. It encourages the patient to get out of the house and move so that they start taking a more active role in their own recovery. Patients feel better after exercising while at the same time they are building muscle strength and function.
Though there was once a time where bed rest was prescribed following a surgical procedure, today it is understood that by performing the appropriate movements sand exercises, we actually speed our recovery. Exercise also goes a long way to ensuring that your spine will be supported by stronger muscles, thus lowering the risk of future injury.
Though there are many options available for hydrotherapy, it is important that you don’t simply sign up for a course at the local gym or community center without consulting with your physician. Classes and therapies are performed in many different ways, and you want to be certain that the instructor that you choose has a good understanding of the exercises that are appropriate for patients who have undergone the surgery that you have had.
For information on where to go for hydrotherapy after your spine surgery, our spine surgery specialist can help. When you come in for your follow-up, ask us about whether hydrotherapy is a good choice for you, and if so where you should go and what types of hydrotherapy exercises you should be performing.