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excercises after cervical fusion

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Ask a PT View Drop Down
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    Posted: Aug 09 2012 at 10:11am
Our user asked: "What can I do to strenghten arms and shoulders??"
 
Ask a PT Response: "It might be a good idea to work with a PT to avoid straining your neck. Until your fusion is sufficiently complete and your bones and musculature has healed properly, it is important to avoid any rigorous movements involving the neck.
Usually for my patients that have underwent a cervical fusion, shoulder and arm strengthening should be ok, as long as it is not rigorous, and as long as the exercises do not stress the neck. I have them focus on muscles that perform their actions only at the shoulder and down towards the hands. If they are doing a motion that involves muscles that potentially pull on the neck, they perform it very gently and very controlled. For example, the biceps muscle attaches near the shoulder joint and the elbow, it performs elbow flexion and forearm supination. Exercising the biceps should not aggravate the neck since it does not perform any actions there.
 
Exercises of internal/external shoulder rotators and shoulder flexion should are usually ok for my patients to perform for the same reason.
 
Acutely, I have my patients avoid exercising motions such as shoulder elevation and abduction (+ SC upward and downward rotation) as many of these muscles that perform these action have attachments to the neck and could therefore cause complications with the fusion. These should be cleared to do past the acute phase or whenever the physician clears the patient to begin more rigorous exercise.
 
Scapular retraction and shoulder extension for my patients are okay to perform as long as their neck is well supported and extension is not performed overhead.
Overall, I have my patients perform many of the exercies in supine or prone to avoid having to use neck musculature for support.
 
Again, best thing to do is probably to work with a PT to avoid any stress or injury to your cervical spine. Best of luck to you with your recovery."
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justinjude View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote justinjude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 18 2012 at 6:51am
There are several exercises which you can perform after Cervical Fusion surgery like shoulder flexion, prone ball planks, prone dumbbell shoulder extension etc. More information about how to do perform these exercises can be found here:- http://www.livestrong.com/article/425195-exercises-to-strengthen-the-neck-help-reduce-chronic-pain-after-cervical-spinal-fusion/
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