Accessibility Tools

Tips to Bend Properly Post Spine Surgery

If you have been suffering from spine pain and have made the decision to undergo spine surgery, you may be left with many questions. One of these questions is likely how to bend properly after spine surgery. Bending the wrong way could result in pain, or worse, further injury, causing a setback in your healing process.
Even if you opted for a minimally invasive procedure, it is still important to take precautionary measures post surgery, such as making sure to bend properly. If you follow the steps below and all goes according to plan, you should be as good as new in no time. However, remember that healing takes time, so follow the instructions of your surgeon and ease back into activities once given the go ahead.

Recovery from Spine Surgery
Recovery from spine surgery may require you to learn to sit, stand, and walk in a new manner. To ensure a proper recovery, prior to spine surgery, get your home ready by installing handrails, removing loose throw rugs, and adding a few mechanical “grabbers” to aid in reaching items from the floor or shelves. Following your spine surgery, a therapist from the hospital will begin physical therapy prior to discharge. Keep in mind that you may continue to experience radiating pain in your hips, knees or shoulders for a short time post surgery while you and your body figure out how to move with a tender spine.

While the goal of spine surgery is help the patient regain flexibility, immediately following surgery it is important not to bend. However, since bending is a large part of our daily activity — to tie shoes, stir a pot, open the car door, even to go up steps — it is important to learn how to bend properly after surgery.

4 Tips to Bend Properly After Surgery

  • Tip 1: Bend with your knees. When the time comes that you must pick something up off the floor, crouch down by bending at your knees. First, make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart for stability, then bend just your knees and slowly lower yourself down while keeping your spine straight and upright.
  • Tip 2: Put on socks in a recline position. If you can’t get away with going sockless after surgery, it is suggested to put on your socks while in the reclining position. Lay back on your bed, draw your knee to your chest, and carefully reach down to slip socks on over your feet.
  • Tip 3: Pivot instead of twist. Twisting your spine may cause pain post surgery. Therefore, try pivoting when you need to turn your upper body. Expert tip, rotate on your foot to turn your whole body to where you need to be. This may take some getting used to, but your spine will thank you.
  • Tip 4: Keep good posture: When standing at your kitchen or bathroom counter, resist the urge to bend or hunch over. One way to avoid hunching is to stand as close to the counter as you can while keeping your back straight. If you tend to lean over the sink while brushing your teeth, open the cabinet under the sink and put your foot on the cabinet ledge, which helps you keep your back straight while you brush.

The tips above are meant to help reduce spine pain through bending properly, however it is always suggested to speak with your spine expert and follow their suggestions for healing.

Learn More

If you are suffering from spine pain, contact Pacific Spine Specialists today. Dr. Keenen is board certified and an expert when it comes to diagnosing and treating spine pain. Learn more!