Post-op Exercises to Prevent Weight Gain

Category: Procedures | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: August 12, 2014

Spine surgery (like all surgeries) requires a period of post-operative healing. Many patients are worried about gaining weight during this post-op recovery time. They fear that they will be bedridden and unable to exercise for months. While you will likely not be running any marathons right after your surgery, there are numerous exercises that you can do to prevent weight gain. This article will explore a few such exercises.

Before we dive in, a quick note – these exercises are general and may not be beneficial for everyone. Always check with your doctor or surgeon to see if they approve of these exercises.


Aerobic exercise is absolutely essential to keeping your weight under control. You may not be able to run after surgery, but walking for 30-60 minutes a day can be a great help in keeping weight off and also in helping your spine heal.


These aren’t the crunches you’re used to. These amended crunches allow you to work out your abs without putting too much pressure on your back. Lie on your back and raise your feet off the ground while tucking your knees to your chest. Slowly pull your knees toward your chest and inhale, all while keeping your back against the floor and your eyes to the ceiling.


This is a great abdominal workout that is doubly beneficial because it does not require any bending of the back (as opposed to a sit-up). To perform this exercise, get down on the floor as if you were going to do push-ups, but instead of putting your hands on the floor, place your forearms on the floor directly below your torso. Keep your arms at a 90 degree angle. Then put your out and raise your body up as straight as possible (try to emulate a plank as the name suggests). Remember to breathe regularly and hold for 10-15 seconds before releasing.

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