Can I Exercise After Spine Surgery?

Spine surgery is a complex undertaking that seeks to address serious anomalies in your spine.  It’s not to be taken lightly and recovering from it is a long-term project.  Recovery should always be pursued under the direction of your surgeon and a physical therapist.

So, the simple answer to the question “can I exercise after spine surgery” is “yes”, but under medical direction.  If you’ve undergone spine surgery, your body has experienced a type of trauma and that demands a clinical response which is conservative and sustained.

Rehabilitative Exercise

Imagine your spine surgery as though you were a car.  You’ve had a little accident that crumpled your hood.  Into the body shop you go, to get “uncrumpled”.  Now that you’re just like new, are you going to be careless with your new lease on life?  No.  You are going to be vigilant and keep yourself in shiny, good-as-new condition, right?


You’ve had spine surgery (or are about to) so you can get on with your life, with a rejuvenated spine.  That means supporting the work of your surgeon with a focused, clinically-directed exercise regime to build up your musculature.

On your surgeon’s recommendation, you’ll be pursuing a course of physical therapy with a trained professional.  Whatever that PT tells you to do, you’re going to do it.  Your PT knows what your body’s been through and knows how to help you recover from it.

You’ll work with the PT, both in person and at home, because your visits to the PT will be supported with a course of therapeutic exercises targeted to the affected muscle groups and physical systems.  It’s crucial to your recovery that you follow the exercises as prescribed.  This will help you to recover your strength and mobility.

An Open Relationship With Your PT

When your surgeon’s work is done, your work begins.  Part of that work is pursuing an open relationship with your physical therapist.  Ask questions.  Don’t just assume things.  Make sure you understand where you are in your recovery process and that you understand what you can and cannot do.

Your physical therapist knows your medical history and can gauge your level of fitness in the recovery process with a great deal of accuracy.  PTs are therapeutic professionals, with an intimate knowledge of the body’s systems.  As you and your PT walk the road to rehabilitation, your PT will come to understand your strengths and weaknesses and deploy therapeutic responses accordingly.

“Can I exercise after spine surgery?”  You bet!

The affirmative response doesn’t mean making a beeline to the gym to push iron.  It means you’re about to go on a journey with a physical therapist to get you where you need to be to do that safely.

Exercise after spine surgery is an essential part of your surgical rehabilitation process.  Collaborate with your PT and do your therapeutic homework.  You’ll find that you’ll soon be operating at 100%, with hard work and team work!  Contact us to find out more.