Exercise after Microdiscectomy Surgery

Back Surgery Fort Worth TXBack surgery sure isn’t what it used to be…and that’s a good thing. Most people know of someone who had open back surgery 15 or 20 years ago, and the healing and recovery facets of the procedure often weren’t pretty.

Thanks to minimally invasive techniques that continue to evolve, when we now perform many lumbar decompression procedures at DFW recovery isn’t anything like it used to be for open procedures. Recoveries for these procedures now require as few a six weeks. Many patients, especially office workers, can return to work at least part-time in just a week or two.

Exercise used to be a distant thought with back surgery, usually needing to be avoided for months. That’s not the case now. Here’s what you may be able to expect on when you can get back to exercise and activity after your microdiscectomy with the team at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders.

Early exercise helps healing

When it comes to something as serious as back surgery, it’s wise to proceed with caution, but early mobilization and exercise actually helps you heal sooner. The irony is that your back pain has likely inhibited you from doing much exercise before your surgery, so your range of motion and fitness has suffered.

At DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, we believe in getting patients on an early exercise program of stretching, strengthening, and conditioning. Just walking and moving helps with overall soft tissue recovery and mitigation of pain after your surgery.


Walking is a great exercise after these procedures. It has little real impact, but it works lots of important muscles and your repaired spine without too much stress. We generally want patients on a postoperative walking program with a goal of getting to three miles per day. Of course, you’re not going to get there immediately. We advise patients to start out with short distances, maybe just around the block, for instance. Then gradually increase the distance. As you do this, let any pain be your guide. You will have some pain after walking, but it shouldn’t be acute. Applying ice and/or taking ibuprofen or similar over-the-counter pain medications will help alleviate any pain you encounter as you increase your activity levels.

As for activity beyond walking and stretching, we feel that a return to normal activity is safe and won’t cause renewed problems with your disc herniation. But again, you need to let any pain be your guide.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can return to activity after your microdiscectomy with the team at DFW. So, the question would now be — why are you waiting to do something about your chronic back pain? Call us at (817) 916-4685, and come in for a consultation.

Posted in: Back Surgery

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