Spinal decompression surgery is a procedure to assist in reducing painful pressure on the spinal nerves from the vertebra and/or intervertebral disc.

The first 6 weeks following surgery involves taking life relatively easy and not expending too much energy. It is normal to feel tired and sore following this operation, so gradually building up your activity will help ease the load.

Until the follow up appointment with your surgeon at 4-6 weeks, it is important to avoid any heavy lifting, twisting, excessive bending or extension of your spine. Upon recommendation from your surgeon, commencing physiotherapy at Week 4-6 will assist in building your activity back to normal and reach your personal goals. You will be provided with a structured and progressive fitness, activity and strengthening programme to ensure you regain your spinal mobility and function.

Guidelines for Weeks 0-6 are as follows:

Relative Rest

Avoiding any high impact load and lifting, taking breaks when needed and continuing to move regularly. It is helpful to rest when needed, in conjunction with light walking around the house and outside.


Gradually easing into walking can be beneficial for pain, energy levels and mobility. Begin with 10 minutes once per day with progression towards twice per day. Stick with easy, flat terrain and increase walking duration by 2-5 minutes every 3-5 days.

Getting In and Out of Bed

For the first few weeks following surgery, take it easy transferring from one position to another. Avoid any twisting of the spine and take your time when sitting up from bed. Sleeping with pillows underneath your knees can ease the load on your spine.