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Rehabilitation Exercise Program: Maintain Posture and Strength

Individuals who have gone through recent low back surgery, like a lumbar laminectomy and discectomy, could they benefit from physical therapy for full recovery? (Johns Hopkins Medicine. 2008)

Rehabilitation Exercise Program: Maintain Posture and Strength

Rehabilitation Exercise Program

A lumbar laminectomy and discectomy is a surgical procedure performed by an orthopedic or neurologic surgeon to help decrease pain, relieve associated symptoms and sensations, and improve flexibility and mobility. The procedure involves cutting away disc and bone material that presses against, irritates, and damages the spinal nerves. (Johns Hopkins Medicine. 2023)

Post-Surgery

The therapist will work with the individual to develop a rehabilitation exercise program. The objective of a rehabilitation exercise program is to help the individual:

  • Relax their muscles to prevent muscle tensing and becoming over-cautious
  • Regain full range of motion
  • Strengthen their spine
  • Prevent injuries

A guide on what to expect in physical therapy.

Postural Retraining

  • After back surgery, individuals have to work to maintain proper posture when sitting and standing. (Johns Hopkins Medicine. 2008)
  • Postural control is important to learn as it maintains the lower back in the optimal position to protect and expedite the healing of lumbar discs and muscles.
  • A physical therapist will teach the individual how to sit with proper posture and use lumbar support.
  • Attaining and maintaining proper posture is one of the most important things to help protect the back and prevent future back problems.

Walking Exercise

Walking is one of the best exercises after lumbar surgery. (Johns Hopkins Medicine. 2008)

  • Walking helps to improve cardiovascular health and blood circulation throughout the body.
  • This helps to provide added oxygen and nutrients to the spinal muscles and tissues as they heal.
  • It is an upright exercise that puts the spine in a natural position, which helps to protect the discs.
  • The therapist will help set up a program tailored to the individual’s condition.

Prone Press Up

One of the exercises to protect the back and lumbar discs is prone press-ups. (Johns Hopkins Medicine. 2008) This exercise helps keep the spinal discs situated in the proper position. It also helps to improve the ability to bend back into lumbar extension.

To perform the exercise:

  1. Lie facing down on a yoga/exercise mat and place both hands flat on the floor under the shoulders.
  2. Keep the back and hips relaxed.
  3. Use the arms to press the upper part of the body up while allowing the lower back to remain against the floor.
  4. There should be a slight pressure in the lower back while pressing up.
  5. Hold the press-up position for 2 seconds.
  6. Slowly lower back down to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for 10 to 15 repetitions.

Sciatic Nerve Gliding

Individuals who had leg pain coming from the back prior to surgery may have been diagnosed with sciatica or an irritation of the sciatic nerve. Post-surgery, individuals may notice their leg feels tight whenever straightening it out all the way. This could be a sign of an adhered/trapped sciatic nerve root, a common problem with sciatica.

  • After lumbar laminectomy and discectomy surgery, a physical therapist will prescribe targeted exercises called sciatic nerve glides to stretch and improve how the nerve moves. (Richard F. Ellis, Wayne A. Hing, Peter J. McNair. 2012)
  • Nerve glides can help free the stuck nerve root and allow for normal motion.

To perform the exercise:

  1. Lie on the back and bend one knee up.
  2. Grab underneath the knee with the hands.
  3. Straighten the knee while supporting it with the hands.
  4. Once the knee is fully straightened, flex and extend the ankle about 5 times.
  5. Return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat the sciatic nerve glide 10 times.
  7. The exercise can be performed several times to help improve how the nerve moves and glides in the lower back and leg.

Supine Lumbar Flexion

After surgery, gentle back flexion exercises can help safely stretch the low-back muscles and gently stretch the scar tissue from the surgical incision. Supine lumbar flexion is one of the simplest exercises to improve lumbar flexion range of motion.

To perform the exercise:

  1. Lie on the back with the knees bent.
  2. Slowly lift the bent knees towards the chest and grasp the knees with both hands.
  3. Gently pull the knees toward the chest.
  4. Hold the position for 1 or 2 seconds.
  5. Slowly lower the knees back to the starting position.
  6. Perform for 10 repetitions.
  7. Stop the exercise if experiencing an increase in pain in the lower back, buttocks, or legs.

Hip and Core Strengthening

Once cleared, individuals can progress to an abdominal and core strengthening program. This involves performing specific motions for the hips and legs while maintaining a pelvic neutral position. Advanced hip strengthening exercises help generate strength and stability in the muscles that surround the pelvic area and lower back. A physical therapist can help decide which exercises are recommended for the specific condition.

Return-to-Work and Physical Activities

Once individuals have gained an improved lumbar range of motion, hip, and core strength, their doctor and therapist may recommend working on specific activities to help them return to their previous level of work and recreation. Depending on job occupation, individuals may need to:

  • Work on proper lifting techniques.
  • Require an ergonomic evaluation if they spend time sitting at a desk or workstation.
  • Some surgeons may have restrictions on how much an individual can bend, lift, and twist from two to six weeks after surgery.

Low-back surgery can be difficult to rehab properly. Working with a healthcare provider and physical therapist, individuals can be sure to improve their range of motion, strength, and functional mobility to return to their previous level of function quickly and safely.


Sciatica, Causes, Symptoms and Tips


References

Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2008). The road to recovery after lumbar spine surgery.

Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2023). Minimally Invasive Lumbar Discectomy.

Ellis, R. F., Hing, W. A., & McNair, P. J. (2012). Comparison of longitudinal sciatic nerve movement with different mobilization exercises: an in vivo study utilizing ultrasound imaging. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy, 42(8), 667–675. doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2012.3854

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Rehabilitation Exercise Program: Maintain Posture and Strength" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

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Our Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive, cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, practical strength training, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries.

We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training, and Rehabilitation Systems for all ages.

As an extension to effective rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises, and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities premier doctors, therapists, and trainers to provide high-level competitive athletes the possibilities to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities.

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Disclaimer *

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in Texas & New Mexico *

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM, IFMCP, ATN, CCST
My Digital Business Card

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Spinal Stenosis Physical Therapy: A Guide to Relief" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card