Orthos Centre

Spine Rehabilitation

Spine Rehabilitation is the process of mainly protecting and restoring as much body function within the patient as possible after the patient has had a spine surgery performed. It also includes managing and treating secondary conditions within the patient that may or may not occur after or even because of spinal cord injuries sustained by the patient.

The process of Spine Rehabilitation commences with a comprehensive and detailed evaluation of the spinal injury to identify the exact cause of pain and the most affected area too. It takes place in a spine rehabilitation center which has spine rehab specialists present there at all times. It is a procedure that can be followed by patients suffering from traumatic as well as non-traumatic spinal cord injuries, spinal cord tumors, spinal cord and/or vertebral column infections and in some cases even aneurysms.

Spine Rehabilitation is primarily for patients suffering from:

  • Low back pain.
  • Herniated disc.
  • Spinal stenosis.
  • Bulging disc. Sciatica.
  • Spinal fusions.

Secondary spinal cord-related conditions that Spine Rehabilitation can treat:

  • Pressure ulcers.
  • Chronic back pain.
  • Chronic neck pain.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Mental health concerns (from previous spinal cord injury survivors).
  • Respiratory infections like pneumonia.

The main goal of a Spine Rehabilitation is to help the patient achieve their highest level of function, mobility and independence and also help them return to their daily routine as soon as possible. Spine Rehabilitation also makes sure that the patient’s painful symptoms do not recur in the long-run, and it improves the patient’s overall quality of life – physically and especially emotionally too. Spine Rehabilitation also helps improve the patient’s posture and overall mobility, encouraging most movement of the spine.

Most common physical therapy includes:

  • Mobility training.
  • Respiratory conditioning.
  • Cardiovascular exercises.
  • Strength training.

The first year of and after a Spine Rehabilitation is the most crucial year for the patient’s healing and recovery. Spine Rehabilitation can take up to 3-6 months post surgery to recover and heal. It is a gradual process and some patients may need to visit the doctor for 2-4 months additionally as a part of an outpatient rehabilitation follow-up. Although in some cases, depending on the pace of progress and severity of the patient’s condition after surgery, spine rehabilitation can take longer than 6 months, going even up to a year in some adverse and more complex cases.

Above mentioned are only approximate timelines required to heal from a Spine Rehabilitation and the actual time of recovery varies according to the severity of the patient’s injury and symptoms. In some extremely challenging cases, patients may also be required to undergo psychotherapy, counseling, speech therapy, etc. along with physical therapy to heal and recover completely and regain as close to normal functioning as possible. While recovering from Spine Rehabilitation, the patient may also be required to relearn how to do basic tasks that they would have been doing with ease in the past.

Along with relearning how to do basic tasks, the patients will also be required to especially practice muscle-strengthening exercises as a crucial part of physiotherapy, in order to avoid frozen muscles and rigidity.

In some more adverse cases, the patients may face some barriers/obstacles like neuropathic pain, somatic pain, ventilator dependency, psycho-social obstacles.

Other Spine Rehabilitation techniques include:

  • Locomotor training (weight-supported).
  • Healing the mind and spine.
  • Occupational therapy.
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Dr. Shrikant Dalal - Spine Surgeon at Orthos Center, Pune

Dr. Shrikant Dalal

MBBS, DNB - Orthopedics/Orthopedic Surgery Spine Surgeon (Ortho), Spine And Pain Specialist, Joint Replacement Surgeon

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