following back surgery

The New England Muskuloskeletal Institute suggests that a healthy lifestyle both prior to and following back surgery can contribute to the success you’ll experience recovering. If you’ve already undergone surgery, don’t worry! Our tips will help inspire your road to a healthy recovery following back surgery.

Move it… Even From Your Chair

Contrary to popular belief, adopting a sedentary lifestyle following your back surgery could slow your recovery process down. While it may seem intuitive to get lots of rest after a back procedure, professionals from Laser Spine Institute—a state-of-the-art outpatient surgery center specializing in innovative minimally invasive surgeries—support that movement will begin to facilitate the healing process to get you back on your feet. Your doctor will advise you of certain precautions such as avoiding bending and twisting, but small muscles must be rehabilitated quickly following back surgery. Smaller muscles become immobilized, yet are responsible for spinal stability.

Remember, everyone recovers at their own pace. If you experience difficulty getting up and out of a chair at first, you can stretch from your chair. Try this:

  • Sit on the edge of a chair with feet planted flat on the floor.
  • Place arms over one another to the front of you, arms bent at the elbows forming a rectangular shape.
  • Keeping arms stabilized, gently pull arms away from the body until hands meet to form a triangle. You should feel this stretch in your spine and throughout your back.

Bone Up Your Diet

A diet rich in leafy greens will offer minerals such as calcium and magnesium necessary to maintain bone density following back surgery. Ready to expand your repertoire of leafy greens, but not sure how they rank in calcium and magnesium content? The World’s Healthiest Foods website is a comprehensive research collection that provides side-by-side nutrition breakdown to help you decide whether its collard greens or swiss chard on your plate next.

Reach an Optimal Weight

A vertebral disc carrying around an extra load following surgery will experience more difficulty recovering than one with an non-burdening load. Enlist the help of a motivational mobile app to get you in shape before or after your back surgery takes place. Apps like My Fitness Pal are great resources because they combine tips for exercise coupled with motivational incentives that can help influence positive behavior changes.

Stretch with Dynamic Yoga Poses

Because certain ranges of motion such as bending and twisting will be restricted just following back surgery, yoga is a perfect form of stretching that won’t compromise, but rather enhance recovery. If leaving home for a class just following surgery is too difficult, try an online class at

Try the tree pose to start:

  1. Stand tall or sit in a chair with arms lifted up overhead. If standing, shift your weight gently onto the left foot, keeping the inner foot firm to the floor, while bending your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle.
  2. Rest your hands on the top of your pelvis.
  3. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and stay in this pose for 30 seconds to one minute.
  4. Complete by taking three deep breaths.