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Physical Therapy One Month Post Disc Surgery Improves Results

Evidence based practice

Thousands have back surgery each year as the result of disc herniation. The disc herniation typically pinches a spinal nerve resulting in radiating pain down into the leg often accompanied by tingling/numbness. It is common for patients to wait several weeks before they have surgery. But, what happens to your back with that prolonged pain?
It seems like common sense but in our quest to "fix it and move on" many people forget what happens to your back with prolonged pain. Your muscles atrophy and good muscle tissue is replaced with fat and fibrous tissue. Your joints stiffen and you lose your endurance too.

Just because the herniated disc is fixed doesn't mean your back is well. In fact, a recent study published in Spine this month concluded, "Exercise programs starting 4 to 6 weeks postsurgery seem to lead to a faster decrease in pain and disability than no treatment." What makes this information even more remarkable is that this study conclusions were the result of scientific analysis of 14 other studies examining the effects of exercise after surgery. Here for the study abstract.

The take home message is that a structured exercise post surgery is definitely beneficial.

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