4 Safe Stretching Techniques for Postoperative Recovery

Recovering from back or spine surgery can be a long road, but the reward at the end is worth the work it takes to achieve rehabilitation. While a good amount of rest is necessary following surgery, exercise is also key to regaining mobility in your neck and back.

Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery knows the importance of stretching techniques for postoperative recovery. Do not fall victim to the consequences that await if you choose not to use these safe stretching techniques! Get your life back on track and utilize these stretches that the experts say are safe and effective.

Why Is Stretching Important after Back Surgery?

Following a back or spine surgery, it is recommended that you partake in ten to thirty minutes of safe stretching exercises at least once a day. Neglecting to exercise after surgery can result in a physical handicap limiting the mobility of that part of your body. Physical therapy may even help you heal faster as it aids the recovery process and gets you closer to getting back to the life you led before surgery.

Partaking in safe stretching exercises throughout and after postoperative recovery will help strengthen and condition your body to heal. The lasting results of this exercise will help you regain the strength and mobility you had before surgery. With continued work, you can decrease the chances that you will experience issues within the back and spine region again.

What Are the Consequences of Not Stretching after Surgery?

The muscles in your back weaken and limit mobility following back surgery, making it very important to strengthen those muscles to heal properly. Failure to stretch and exercise after surgery leaves you at risk of not healing correctly and having a failed back surgery. You likely want recovery to be as quick and painless as possible. Still, an extended period with no movement could leave you dealing with a slow and painful recovery process.

It should be noted that when you do start your stretching exercises, it is common to experience some pain. This is likely not a cause for concern unless the pain persists; then, you should consult an experienced team of back and spine doctors. Using the following safe techniques and taking things slow is the key to avoiding a painful recovery process.

Safe Stretching Techniques after Back Surgery

If you have just undergone back surgery or plan to soon, the following stretching techniques will be helpful in your recovery process. No matter the type of back surgery you have had, these techniques have been universally successful in helping to strengthen the muscles in your back. However, please remember it is important to consult with your back and spine doctor or physical therapist before trying any of these techniques.

Pelvic Tilts

This is one of the safest stretches that is great to start with. Begin by lying flat on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Then, tighten your abdominal muscles and pull your belly button in so your lower back is flush with the floor. Hold this for about ten seconds and repeat up to ten times. If you do this and do not experience too much discomfort, you may add leg lifts to increase resistance.


For this technique, you will again lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent. With your arms at your side to anchor you, lift your hips off the floor until your body is straight from torso to knees. Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering yourself back down slowly, and then repeat for a minimum of ten times.

Ankle Pumps

This technique is one of the most simple but is very effective. Lay flat on your back and move your ankles up and down by flexing your toes toward you. Repeat this exercise about ten times for maximum effectiveness.


This technique is a bit more challenging and should be started only after regaining some strength from the above exercises. Begin by lying on your stomach with your body flat. As you lift your body off the ground, be sure to support yourself with your elbows and toes, using your abdominal muscles to keep your body straight. You should strive not to let your hips drop for as long as possible. As you become more comfortable, add a bit more time.

Get Help from Trusted Back and Spine Doctors

Have you or a loved one experienced back pain? Do not let that pain take over your life. Your back pain does not have to be permanent, and the team at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery can help prevent that. With experienced doctors who specialize in minimally invasive back and spine surgery, you will be in great hands.

With over twenty non-surgical and surgical treatment options to choose from, you will receive the specialized care you need to live a pain-free life. For a complimentary MRI review, contact us here or give us a call at (855) 853-6542.

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