The Southeastern Spine Institute

Back surgery recovery takes time; don’t rush it.

Boating and fishing on the water are surprisingly hard on your spine and back muscles. It doesn’t matter how big your boat is — it can ride the waves like a drunken cowboy on a bull. If your legs and your knees don’t absorb the shock of the rolling deck beneath your feet, then your back does. And your back can pay the price.

So if you’re recovering from any type of back surgery, listen to your spine specialist. Ask questions about what you can and can’t do. Follow the post-operative instructions and don’t try to do too much before you’re ready. If you eventually want to get back onboard with no worries, then take it slow, mate.

Your Personal Back Surgery Recovery

Everyone recuperates at a different speed. Recovery time depends on a number of factors, such as:

  • Your health before the operation
  • Your age
  • Your physical conditioning
  • The work you put into post-op exercises and physical therapy
  • Your attitude

People often are surprised by that last point, but it matters a great deal. A positive attitude can reduce your healing time and speed your recovery. Approach your back surgery recovery like you approach fishing: with patience, intelligence and fortitude.

Another factor that influences your personal recovery time is the type of procedure you had. <>Spinal fusion surgery, for example, requires a lengthier recovery time than a minimally invasive <>micro endoscopic discectomy.

Avoid Rowing

Fortunately, most of today’s boats are powered. Rowing produces a high-intensity workout for your back, not something you should do during or shortly after your back surgery recovery. However, even power boating highlights two issues following your surgery:

  1. Power boats can jostle you enough to hurt your back.
  2. Follow your surgeon’s and physical therapist’s post-op instructions.

There actually may be some activities you can no longer do after your surgery. You may be able to get back aboard your boat shortly after your procedure, but you may have to wait longer before you can start fishing again. Don’t be like that fisherman who’s had six back surgeries already and still does the same things that cause the injuries. Take care of your back, and it will take care of you.

Special Boating Considerations

If you’ve successfully completed your back surgery recovery and you’re now ready to get back on the water, make sure you stay safe to prevent an injury to your back. Follow these tips to make the activity safer and, as a result, more enjoyable:

  • Stay near the stern, close to the water level, where you’ll experience less bouncing, especially in smaller vessels.
  • Some manufacturers make special, supportive seats that can make a difference in your cabin.
  • Don’t sit in one place for hours. This might change the way you normally fish.
  • Get used to stretching frequently; your back will thank you.

If you still have questions, contact the spinal medicine experts at the Southeastern Spine Institute. Since they are located right near the waters of Charleston, SC, they understand that boating and back issues often go hand-in-hand.