Neutral Spine Principles 

The most important aspect of your recovery following back surgery is to understand and use the principles of neutral spine in your daily activities. Neutral spine precautions are necessary to allow time for your surgical site to heal and for your spine to fuse in proper alignment. The technique will also aid in pain management.

Visualize your back and neck as always being straight with no bending or twisting at any time. Always check with your physician before performing any activity that results in spine movement.

Keep shoulders, hips and knees in line during all positions and activities. Twist your body or turn your shoulders to look behind you.
Sit reclined if you must sit longer than 15 minutes. Sit up straight for more than 10-15 minutes at one time.
Lift with both hands and keep items as close to the body as possible.

Lift anything over three pounds, until you are cleared by your physician.

Get out of bed frequently to walk for short periods during the day. Lie in bed all day long once you return home.  
Put on and take off your brace while lying on your side. Bend down or to the side while sitting or standing.
Log roll to get out of bed. Arch or bridge your back. 
Keep legs in a symmetrical position. Raise knees higher than your hips or cross your legs.


The Spine Center at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center