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Printed at: 07:12:27 / 25-09-2021

Advice and Exercises Following Spinal Surgery

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Do these exercises for 5-10 minutes, four times a day. Little and often is best, and within the limits of pain.

1. Thigh and Buttock Exercises

Lie on your back
1. Point your toes up towards the ceiling, push your knee down into the bed & tighten your thigh muscle.
2. Squeeze your buttocks together. Hold each exercise for 5-10 seconds, repeat this ___times.

2. Pelvic Tilt
1. Lie on your back & bend both knees.
2. Tighten your stomach muscles and gently squeeze your buttocks to tilt your pelvis up towards you & flatten your lower back to the bed.
3. Hold for 3 seconds, and then relax. Repeat this ___times.

3. Lumber Rolls
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor or bed
2. Keeping your shoulders down flat, slowly roll your knees toward the left as far as possible
3. Slowly roll your knees back toward the right as far as possible, keeping shoulders flat.
Repeat _____ times

4. Side flexion
1. Stand with arms relaxed and feet slightly apart.
2. Slowly bend sideways, sliding your hand down the side of your leg until you feel a stretch, then return to the upright position.
3. Do the same on the other side. Repeat this ___times to each side.

Transversus Abdominus and Pelvic Floor muscles

The transversus abdominus muscles form the deepest layer of your abdominal muscles. They wrap around your torso like a corset, and help stabilise your spine. The pelvic floor muscles are located between your legs, and run from your pubic bone at the front to the base of your spine at the back. The pelvic floor muscles give you control over your bladder and bowels. Strengthening your transversus abdominus and pelvic floor muscles can help support and protect your spine.

5. Pelvic Floor Exercise
To strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, sit comfortably and squeeze the muscles, as if you are in a long queue waiting to get to the toilet. Avoid holding your breath and make sure that you do not contract other muscles like your stomach, thigh or buttock muscles. Repeat 10-15 times.

6. Transversus Abdominus Exercise
1. Lie on your back with knees bent (crook lying) with your pelvis in neutral position.
2. Place your hand over your stomach so that your thumb lies over the upper stomach muscles and fingers over the lower muscles.
3. Gently pull in your navel towards your spine (as if you are tightening your belt). You should feel the lower muscles tense under your fingers, whilst keeping your upper stomach muscles soft under your thumb. Build up the endurance of the transversus abdominus and pelvic floor muscles by increasing the time you can comfortably hold each contraction.

General Advice
• When getting out of bed, roll onto your side and lower your feet over the side of the bed. Push up onto your elbows, and come up sideways to sit on the side of the bed.
• Avoid sitting for long periods. Your Physiotherapist will advise you about progression of these sitting times. You will be taught to either perch on the edge of a high bed or stool, or sit well back on a firm chair with a roll or cushion in the small of your back.
• Avoid sitting with your feet straight out in front of you.
• When discharged from the hospital, gradually increase the distance you walk each day. Little & often is best.
• Avoid leaning forwards combined with picking up heavy objects (no more than a full kettle) for eight – twelve weeks. Your Consultant or Physiotherapist will instruct you on this.
• To pick up light objects from the floor, bend at your knees and avoid bending/twisting at the waist.
• Try to lie on your stomach as soon as possible (for short periods).