Patient Handout: Five Things to Expect After Spine Surgery

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Physical therapy aims to minimize pain while retraining function in newly repaired structures

You’ve taken a major step toward eliminating chronic back or neck pain by undergoing spinal surgery to fix the underlying cause. But for most patients, that’s not the end of the process. Physical therapy typically follows surgery to help patients get the greatest possible benefit, according to Sridhar Yalamanchili, PT, MSPT, director of rehabilitation at Atlantic Spine Center.

“Physical therapists work with patients in several ways to help them recover from surgery, heal from the condition that required the surgery, and bounce back into good physical condition,” says Yalamanchili. “Undergoing spine surgery is daunting, and patients want to improve their odds of a complete recovery. PT has been proven by research to maximize those odds.”

But many patients have never undergone PT prior to spine surgery and don’t know what to anticipate, Yalamanchili notes. He offers 5 tips on what to expect and explains the ways physical therapy can benefit you.

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