Long Term Care For Your Back after Spinal Fusion

Couple walkingWhile you recover from spinal fusion,  you should minimize stress on your back. Therefore, it is important for you to maintain a normal body weight. Excess weight increases stress on the back. Avoid heavy lifting (more than 40 pounds) as this also puts excess weight on your back.

Good posture is a must whether sitting, standing, or lying down. Always bend at the knees and hips, never at the waist. Learn and use proper lifting mechanics. Lifting properly will prevent injuries during and after healing. Carrying objects close to the body reduces strain on the back. Avoid repetitive strenuous activities that combine lifting and twisting to minimize stress on areas around the fusion.

Even after your back heals, avoid exercises that involve jumping, bending over too far, or twisting of the back. Walking and swimming are among the best exercises for your back. You can ride a stationary bike as well. Remember, talk with your surgeon before you begin any new exercises or physical activities.

While your back is healing you can make yourself more comfortable if you:

• wear comfortable, low heeled shoes
• keep work surfaces at a comfortable level (between shoulders and hips)
• when sitting, rest your feet on the floor or a low stool
• place a pillow or rolled-up towel behind the small of you back while sitting
• try sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees, or on your side with your knees bent, and a pillow between your knees
• when standing, rest one foot on a low stool

These are good tips to follow even after your back has healed.

Note that the information in this article is purely informative and should not be used in place of recommendations from your surgical team.

Related Articles

Lumbar Spinal Fusion
Most Common Causes of Lumbar Back Pain
Your Visit With The Surgeon
Getting Yourself Ready For Surgery
Understanding Back Precautions
Making Arrangements For Surgery
Your Hospital Visit
Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery
Recovery At Home
When To Call Your Surgeon
Long Term Care For Your Back

More Information:

Lumbar Spine Structure and Function


  1. I had Lumbar Fusion. L5 and L6. Done 16 yrs ago. And my current job requires regular lifting with assistance. Of people. One has to be very careful even after 16 years.

  2. says

    40 lbs? Ridiculous
    Physicians need to focus on preventive care so surgery isn’t needed again, and I don’t think going back to lifting 40 lbs is preventive care!

  3. Donald Manker says

    I have a fusion at l3l4 now looking at fusing from there all the way to s1. I have a small Construction company. Is it realistic to think I can go back to this work?

  4. I had spinal surgery and it’s better than my back was but it’s really hard to get use to I’m 33 years old and was in a very bad accident where my back was messed up and I had headaches so bad once I had the surgery my headache went away my back has less pain than it had but still hurts at times especially when it’s cold my surgeon was one of the best in California thanks to him I’m able to walk more than a few Blocks and am getting my range of motion back it’s been a rough ride but I’m still breathing

  5. Caesar latorre says

    When my doctor said he was doing a spinal fusion I didn’t really know or realize what he was talking about and how long for healing also iam a do it yourself person before I carried heavy stuff lifted weights and used elyptical machine I feel I gave up my freedom

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