Even when an operation is described as “minimally invasive,” it’s still surgery and will require some time for healing. Recovery is often facilitated by some type of physical therapy because muscles need to be strengthened. By realizing what’s involved with the healing process, you’ll likely see more benefits from choosing a type of surgery that’s not as invasive as traditional open procedures.
Communicate with Your Physical Therapist
Everybody responds differently to physical therapy. Develop an honest relationship with your therapist. Let him or her know if something is causing you pain or if you feel like you could be doing a bit more than what you’re doing. Actively participating in physical therapy may lead to:
- Increased range of motion
- Reduced risk of re-injury
- Added support from stronger muscles
Return to Regular Physical Activity
Don’t rely solely on physical therapy to heal. In between therapy sessions, make an effort to slowly return to your normal activity level. You may need to consider appropriate modifications such as opting for a casual walk instead of a slow jog or using resistance bands instead of lifting weights. Healing can also be encouraged by:
- Opting for water-based exercises
- Choosing enjoyable activity-based activities
- Setting small, attainable goals
Focus on Exercises That Promote Recovery
Minimally invasive surgery does not involve significant disruption to muscles, which means the function of back-supporting muscles is retained. Use these muscles to your advantage and focus on exercises likely to promote flexibility and strength. Cardiovascular exercises are also important to counter the effects of a period of inactivity before and immediately after spine surgery. Santa Monica surgeons claim their patients often do well with:
- Low-endurance cardio at 40 to 60 percent of maximum heart rate
- Stabilizing abdominal exercises
- Strength and resistance training
While recovering from minimally invasive spine surgery, Santa Monica physicians recommend listening to your body. Some occasional discomfort as you heal is normal, especially if you’re performing exercises at home. Avoid the temptation to push yourself or gauge your recovery rate based on what others typically experience. Report any new or sudden pain to your doctor.
To learn more about what to expect after having minimally invasive spine surgery, get in touch with Dr. Hyun Bae at The Spine Institute Center. We specialize in spinal fusion and fusion alternatives like lumbar disc replacement. Santa Monica patients trust in our high-quality procedures and treatments. Find out why by calling 310-828-7757 and scheduling an appointment today.