Spine Surgery Recovery: The Benefits of Hydrotherapy
As anyone who has gone through the procedure knows, spinal surgery is a serious matter. Recovering from a surgical operation on the spine can be a challenge, and many patients are surprised at the amount of time and effort that is required to complete the recovery process. Water therapy, also known as hydrotherapy, can play an important role in recovering from spine surgery.
The Importance of Exercise
Exercise is among the most critical components of a postsurgical recovery plan. Exercise serves to support the body's natural healing process, while also supporting overall health and wellness. Regular exercise also plays a significant role in strengthening the muscles that support the spine. A strong back reduces the risk of re-injury and allows a patient to return to the activities that he or she enjoyed before having back trouble. Strengthened back muscles also minimize the experience of persistent back pain, without the need for prescription drugs or invasive procedures. Exercising after spine surgery can be a challenge, however, because most patients have a number of physical restrictions related to the surgery and other heath conditions. That can make it difficult to begin or sustain a solid fitness program. By completing an exercise program in a therapeutic pool, patients can build and maintain muscle tissue without placing undue strain on their back.
What are the Benefits of Hydrotherapy?
Aside from the ability to complete an exercise program without the constraints of weight bearing, hydrotherapy offers many significant advantages. Many patients report an increase in stamina as they progress through a hydrotherapy program. This is especially true for those who have fallen into a sedentary lifestyle before having back surgery. Other patients experience improvements in blood flow, increased oxygen within muscle tissue and improved removal of metabolic waste. Patients who were previously healthy and fit embrace hydrotherapy as a means of sustaining their muscle strength and tone after a surgical procedure.
How Does Hydrotherapy Work?
The primary benefit of hydrotherapy lies in the ability to complete a comprehensive exercise program while partially immersed in water. The buoyancy of the water supports between 50 to 90 percent of the patient's body weight during exercise, depending on how deeply the patient is submerged in the therapeutic pool. In addition to improving muscle strength, water therapy also helps patients improve their flexibility and overall range of motion.
What Should Patients Expect During Hydrotherapy?
As with all types of physical therapy, patients can expect to receive a customized plan to address their specific set of needs. Exercises will be chosen in a way that supports the patient's current fitness level and long-term goals. The length of the recovery process depends on a number of factors, although hydrotherapy can play a vital role throughout that process.
At Capital City Neurosurgery, neurosurgeon Dr. Kelly Kiehm leads a team of professionals dedicated to assisting patients in need of an excellent spine surgeon. Contact the office today to learn more or to schedule an initial consultation.