Return to Walking Post Scoliosis Surgery


Pace Yourself

Everyone is different and so your return to normal activity may be different to others. Walking is an ideal activity to help you return to your previous level of function. The key to success is to learn how to pace yourself. Little and often is better than trying to do one long walk per day. Each day gradually increase the length of time you can walk for. As you get stronger day on day you will notice that naturally your pace and distance covered will also improve.

Walking helps many of the systems in our body. It will help your musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory, digestive and nervous systems. Ensure that you listen to your body and try to stop your walk before any pain or fatigue sets in. This will allow you to try again later that same day and to keep going the following day. If you do it this way, then quickly you will regain strength and endurance in your muscular system and this in turn will help alleviate stiffness and pain.

Improve Your Healing

Walking is a very safe way to load your joints which will help with the bone and graft healing. It helps with blood flow and circulation which helps prevent blood clots as well as improving wound healing. Walking hugely helps your digestive system and improves bowel function. This can help symptoms such as constipation. Walking also improves function of the lungs which is essential following a general anesthetic. Walking will help you to take bigger breaths and in turn this will help to prevent chest infection, pneumonia and other complications.

Gradually increasing walking distance post-op

Be Safe

In the early days after surgery your blood pressure may be affected by the medication so ensure the Physio or medical team are around to support you as needed. Ensure you are wearing non-slip, supportive footwear. Use pain medication as advised to allow you to move comfortably.

If you can get outdoors for your walks this will also help to improve your mood and it can improve the quality of your sleep. Return to walking as though you are in 1st gear going at a gentle pace and steadily progress each day until you are walking as you were before the surgery. It is advised to start on flat surfaces and in time you can introduce incline and decline as you feel able to.

If unsure, it is always worth speaking with your Physiotherapist for specific advice for you.