Category: Surgery Recovery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Spine surgery is a very individualized experience for the patient and surgeon, and while some aspects of your recovery will be unique, there are a number of standard protocols that everyone will have to follow after a spinal procedure. In today’s blog, we take a look at five things every patient will need to do after their spinal procedure to help keep their recovery trending in the right direction.
5 Ways To Help Your Recovery After Spine Surgery
Here’s a look at five recommendations that almost every spine surgery patient will want to follow as they work to recover following an operation.
- Physical Therapy Is Your Best Friend – Your surgical site and the supportive structures around it are in a weakened state after surgery, and one of the best things you can do for these soft tissues is to work to strengthen them by performing physical therapy exercises. PT is what will drive home recovery, reduce the likelihood of problematic scar tissue and help expand range of motion. In the vast majority of cases, physical therapy is ordered after spine surgery, so follow through with these exercises.
- Rest, Then Activity – A common misconception is that rest and time are the best drivers of recovery after spine surgery. Rest is great in the immediate short term, but after a short period you’ll actually see better results with limited and controlled activity. This helps to avoid muscle stagnation and improve circulation. Most doctors will talk to you about safe activity progression soon after your surgery is complete.
- Movement Avoidance – Similarly, every patient will have some short-term activity restrictions while you recover. Expect to be unable to drive a car, go for a run or return to work for a given period of time. Heed your doctor’s instructions, and if you feel that you are progressing ahead of schedule, make sure you get clearance before diving into more strenuous activities. If you don’t you could be in line for a major setback.
- How To Manage Medication – Regardless of whether you need over-the-counter medications or prescription painkillers, every patient needs to be aware of how to safely manage these medications following spine surgery. Addiction, abuse and overdose can affect anyone, so have a plan in place for how you’ll safely manage your meds. If you have any concerns, bring them up to your doctor so that everyone is on the same page for how you’ll appropriately use medications during your recovery.
- A Support System – Finally, every spine surgery patient needs a support system to lend a hand while they recover. Whether that’s in the form of rides to and from appointments, helping with errands or just being there to listen, never underestimate the benefits of a support system while you recover. If a friend or family member is going through a surgical procedure, be there for them, because this can make a world of difference in their mental health as they recover from a physical injury.
For more information, or for help with your back or neck issue, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.