PT After Spinal Surgery Speeds Up Recovery!

Recovering from a disc surgery but still in pain? Undergoing discectomy soon? Physical therapy can help!

Research shows that people who come to physical therapy even after simple spinal surgeries recover faster and have less pain, due to more active treatment methods and supervised, individualized care.1-3 Studies show that beginning physical therapy immediately after surgery is safe and can significantly reduce pain and impairments. Early PT can address the following:3

-Ensuring proper brace fitting and overseeing proper post-op precautions

-Preventing/decreasing muscle atrophy after surgery

-Coaching on how to return to activity safely

-Individualized, supervised exercises to stabilize the spine, strengthen the legs, and return to normal function

-Education on posture and safe lifting techniques to prevent re-injury in the future

Studies have also demonstrated that more intensive treatment programs initiated 4-6 weeks after surgery that focus on relaxation training, lumbar flexibility, and dynamic core and leg stability lead to faster return to work and normal activities, and less pain than just recovering at home.1,2

Don’t let your back pain after surgery or fear of movement permanently limit your function. Ask your surgeon for a referral to PT, or come by yourself via direct access!


1.Ostelo R, de Vet H, Waddell G, Kerckhoffs M, Leffers P, van Tulder M. Rehabilitation following first-time lumbar disc surgery. SPINE. 2003;28(3):209-218.

2.Filiz M, Cakmak A, Ozcan E. The effectiveness of exercise programmes after lumbar disc surgery: a randomized controlled study. Clinical Rehabilitation. 2005;19:4-11.

3.Snowdon M, Phys B, Peiris C. Physiotherapy commenced within the first four weeks post-spinal surgery is safe and effective: A systematic review and meta-analysis. ACRM. 2016;97:292-301.