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Is Yoga Beneficial after a Spinal Fusion Surgery?

Posted May 2019 by Biodermis
Spinal fusion is the process of surgically mending the vertebrae (small bones) in the spine so that they heal together as a single bone. A person may opt to undergo a spinal fusion if they are experiencing pain, misalignment, or reduced mobility in the spine. Once the surgery is complete and the healing process is over, it’s a good idea (after consulting with your doctor) to start stretching your spine to regain strength and flexibility. This is when the ancient practice of doing yoga will become your best friend. You'll want to take it slow at first, so listen to your body and know your limits to avoid the risk of injury.

Continue reading to learn more about spinal fusions and how yoga can help improve strength and flexibility in your spine.

Yoga after spinal fusion

What are spinal fusions for?

Spinal fusions are recommended for people who have pain or reduced mobility in the spine that is severe enough to warrant surgery. Some conditions that cause symptoms include scoliosis, arthritis, and a fractured spine. Often, spine complications are brought on naturally during old age. When a surgeon performs a fusion on your spine, he or she will use a bone graft to help fuse the vertebrae together. A bone graft is done by inserting a small piece of harvested bone in between the vertebrae so that they heal together as a single, solid bone. A bone graft will help eliminate motion in the spine, which is beneficial if motion is what causes the spine pain in the patient. Bone grafts also help to anchor the surrounding ligaments and muscles in place, thus reducing pain caused by the friction of moving parts. In some cases, screws and plates may be inserted into the spin for added support.

Once the surgery is complete, your surgeon may require you to wear a back brace until you’ve regained some of your strength. As you recover, you will need to do physical therapy to retrain and strengthen your spine. After a period of several months, you will be able to resume normal daily functions. Depending on your age and other factors, your doctor may advise you to refrain from strenuous labor even after you have fully recovered.

Ancient art of yoga

Yoga to help with spinal flexibility

Yoga is arguably the best way to improve flexibility and strengthen the body, especially after major orthopedic surgery. The practice of yoga has an interesting history that some scholars believe stretches back to 3000 B.C. India. Yoga originally emerged as a spiritual practice performed by followers of Hinduism and Buddhism to achieve spiritual enlightenment and mental tranquility. Yoga only just began gaining popularity in the West during the 20th century. Western Yoga focuses mainly on the practical, physical benefits of the art, making it a great option for people who are trying to improve their health.

If you’ve recently undergone spinal fusion or any type of orthopedic surgery for that matter, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor prior to doing yoga. If you are still in good physical shape and your post-surgical recovery went well, you should be in the clear to take up some light yoga. At first, you’ll want to take it slow until you feel comfortable enough to do more elaborate movements. There are plenty of positions that focus on spinal strength and flexibility, so talking with your instructor may be a good way to tailor the class to your needs. Some instructors in your area may even specialize in training spinal surgery patients; doing some research will help you find the best match. If your instructor offers private lessons, you may want to take advantage of them for an even more individualized experience. Good instructors will go at your pace and know exactly what you should and shouldn’t be doing depending on your condition.

Spinal fusions are major corrective surgeries that will almost always leave a large scar. If you are worried about the appearance of your post-surgery scar, Biodermis can help.

Biodermis is an innovative market leader with 30 years of expertise in the medical silicone industry. Visit Biodermis.com today to explore a complete range of scar management and post-operative care solutions.
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