Spinal Fusion Recovery Programme

The R&R Spinal Fusion Recovery Programme has been designed to help you to recover from your spinal fusion surgery. We will help you to mobilise your spine, to reduce post-operative swelling, to exercise safely, and teach you ways to strengthen your spine and the surrounding muscles.

When should I take part?

The Spinal Fusion Recovery Programme can be completed at any time. Your consultant will be able to advise you when they would be happy for you to participate in an active recovery programme, but typically this will be from around eight weeks post-single level spinal fusion. We will also need confirmation from your consultant that they are happy for you to take a short-haul flight.


For optimum results, the Spinal Programme provides six days of intensive reconditioning. We work with you to develop a flexible programme to help you reach your recovery goals so each class and treatment will be tailored to your needs.

Private Treatments​

  • Postural and Biomechanical Assessment with Physiotherapist (55 mins) x 1
  • Physiotherapy (55 mins) x 1
  • Soft Tissue Therapy (55 mins) x 2

Pilates Sessions​

  • Basic Principles of Posture and Pilates (30 mins) x 1
  • Duet Reformer Pilates (55 mins) x 5
  • Physiotherapist led Pilates based Restore Class (55 mins) x 5

Mobility and Stretch Sessions

  • Therapist-led Stretch Class (30 mins) x 5
  • Mobility Class (30 mins) x 2


This compact Programme is for those who would like to recondition, but may not be able to spare the time to do the comprehensive six day programme.

Private Treatments​

  • Postural and Biomechanical Assessment with Physiotherapist (55 mins) x 1
  • Physiotherapy (55 mins) x 1
  • Soft Tissue Therapy (55 mins) x 2

Pilates Sessions​

  • Basic Principles of posture and Pilates (30 mins) x 1
  • Duet Reformer Pilates (55 mins) x 4
  • Physiotherapist led Pilates based Restore Class (55 mins) x 4

Stretch and Release Sessions

  • Therapist-led Stretch Class (30 mins) x 4
  • Release Class (55 mins) x 1


Before you join the R&R Spinal Fusion Recovery Programme

You will have an initial triage call with our Lead Physiotherapist who will find out a bit more about you and the condition that led to your surgery, and your objectives from your R&R holiday. We will also speak to your consultant and to your current musculoskeletal therapist to ascertain as much about your relevant medical history as necessary and your progress thus far. Where appropriate we will also ask for copies of any imaging you have had taken. We will require written permission from your consultant that you are fit to fly.

Programme Description

Your initial physiotherapy consultation will focus on identifying methods of pain relief and assessing your spinal mobility and muscle strength. It will also identify issues within your body which have been historically exacerbated by your back pain. Typically, these might include stiffness in the upper middle back, stiffness in the hips and tightness of the hamstrings, This consultation will determine the focus of each of your therapies and exercises sessions for the week. Where your consultant has post-operative guidelines we will work within these parameters.

Further physiotherapy sessions might include manual release work to reduce any post-surgical swelling, and to increase spinal mobility, myofasical release to help restore muscles to their correct length, dry needling to alleviate muscle spasm and to improve circulation for healing, and taping for stabilisation, land based exercise prescription and pool-based mobilising sessions. Scar tissue work will be performed on any surgical scars to encourage tissue to break down and to dissipate. This will also help to reduce any sensitivity at the surgical scar site.

Soft Tissue Therapy Sessions might focus on reducing surgical swelling, soothing aching muscles, releasing tightened muscles and joints, and helping to realign any imbalances.

Your Reformer Pilates sessions will be entirely bespoke to you and your capabilities. It doesn’t matter if this is your first or hundredth session on the reformer and all classes will be at your own pace. Many exercises on the reformer machine are performed with your spine resting on a carriage, enabling you to work on the surrounding stabilising and core muscles, whilst protecting your back. Sessions will focus on strengthening and lengthening muscles, increasing your spinal mobility, stabilising muscles and joints and increasing physical fitness and body awareness.

Your daily Restore Classes will have no more than five participants, and will focus on mobility and muscle conditioning. Your exercise programme in class will be tailored to you and your needs. Sessions are led by our physiotherapist, ensuring that you are taught how to exercise safely and within your limitations.

The daily Stretch Classes will focus on releasing tightened muscles, encouraging efficient breathing and relaxation exercises.

Your Mobility Classes will teach you how to release tightened muscles using a foam roller and trigger point ball.

When you have completed the R&R Spinal Fusion Recovery Programme

We will provide you with an personalised exercise programme and advice on how to continue with regular exercise on your return home. Your consultant and musculoskeletal therapist will be provided with a full and detailed handover on the treatment you have received during your week with us. If you do not have a physiotherapist but require further physiotherapy treatment, we will be very happy to refer you to one of the many UK based therapists with whom we have built strong relationships. We will follow up with you after your holiday and keep track of your progress. You will have access to the R&R team who will be delighted to help you out and to answer any questions that you have.


Testimonials from our Spinal Programmes

Seven weeks after my spinal fusion surgery, R&R provided every tool I needed to calmly and sensibly begin my rehabilitation. A week of highly tailored physio, reformer Pilates, stretch and release classes with them has given me the knowledge and confidence to really progress my rehab at home. I could not have asked for more. Aside from the classes, the atmosphere was relaxed and inclusive, the French cuisine; fabulous, the setting serene and the company delightful. A hugely worthwhile and enjoyable experience.

Client, 7 weeks post spinal fusion

I have gained so much confidence and a lot more mobility. My lower back pain has gone. The best thing for me is that I have been able to forget at times that I even have a problem.

Client, multi level scoliosis correction

My patient has recovered from her twelve-level scoliosis correction extremely well and in particular, gained significant benefit following an intensive rehab course in Portugal with Restore and Reform.

Mr Ember, MBBS MRCS (Lon&Glas) FRCS (Tr&Orth) Consultant Spinal Surgeon

The programme been enormously rewarding. I was unsure of how much progress I would make in one week but I feel like I’ve come on in leaps and bounds. Everyone here has made me feel so supported and relaxed allowing me to really focus on myself

Client, multi-level scoliosis correction

The knowledge of my condition and interest in me as a patient from the whole team constantly reassured (and really impressed) me! It was so good to hand over the reins to such a fantastic team and come away with such great results.

It’s such a great idea and concept. Even on my return to London I know there will be further support from the team so I will be stronger and in such a good position to take my treatment forward.  Thanks all for such an enriching, interesting, challenging (in a good way!), motivating and fun week!

Patient, 3 weeks post-spinal injections

I feel that this week has kickstarted my return to exercise.  I feel a significant increase in the range of movement in my back.  The programme has been well-thought through and prepared by the team.  I loved the individual and tailored attention.  I could not wish for more.

Eliana, 62, back pain

I have gained so much confidence and a lot more mobility. My lower back pain has gone. The best thing for me is that I have been able to forget at times that I even have a back problem.

Sarah, 9 weeks post 12 level spinal fusion

All of us had informed the team of our goals at the beginning, and whilst none of us expected to achieve them all in a short space of time, everyone I spoke to felt that they had really made progress. Bad habits were unpicked, problem areas ironed out, and, most importantly of all, we all felt supported, educated, motivated and inspired. Countless times, I heard people say ‘I never thought that I could do that’, or ‘they’ve given me such hope/confidence’, or ‘I can move so much better’. Nobody had a less than positive experience, whether it was in increasing mobility, lessening pain and inflammation or discovering the unbeatable value of Pilates.  Everyone in the team was amazing in their expertise, enthusiasm and dedication. What was lovely was the sense that this was no ordinary commercial venture, but an enterprise born of genuine desire to help people at a time when they are most vulnerable.

Carla, 67, spinal fusion patient

My fall resulted in catastrophic spinal fractures and major invasive surgery…  So meeting Michelle and Lucy and the R&R team a few months down the line was a god-send! Michelle is the warmest, most competent, reassuring presence, and so positive; and Lucy is a ray of sunshine, who looks so fit and healthy that it’s very motivating and inspiring to see what can be achieved in terms of rehab. I felt in such safe hands since the team were evidently experts in their fields. The reformer Pilates machine enabled strengthening exercises without putting my body or my back at risk. The best thing is that you really feel a sense of individual care for your specific injury or goals – it’s a very motivational programme that gives you the tools you need to continue the good work at home.

Caroline, 30, Spinal fusion for stabilisation post fracture

Excellent therapists and trainers who are all very caring and professional. We appreciated the attention to detail and were very impressed with the consideration of our individual problems. We came away feeling much better and stronger. My back pain was less and I now know the true cause & how to manage the pain. The aftercare is also very good. Highly recommended!

Yvonne, 62, disc prolapse

In the last year, I have experienced a big decline in my mobility and flexibility leaving me struggling with everyday tasks and with painful muscle spasms which felt like iron rods in my legs and back.  I was referred to R&R by my spinal consultant.  The team took me through a tailored programme and I always felt that I was in a safe environment and I trusted what they were doing with me.   Lucy helped me to be confident with the reformer although I had never used it before, and taught me movements in a way that safely protected my back.  Very quickly I gained in confidence and was able to push myself to achieve a level of mobility and flexibility that I thought I would never again be able to do.  I made huge strides forward in just a week in terms of mobility and flexibility but I know that it is just the beginning for me as I will need to continue to work hard to consolidate my gains.

Karen, 55, non-specific lower back pain

The programme was wonderful. I was given so much personalised attention and really felt like I was being listened to.  At no point did I feel like I was vulnerable or doing a move that might damage my back and it was so refreshing to focus on doing things well and safely, instead of trying to do the most reps of each exercise.

Patient, post-spinal injections


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