5 Ways Patients Stay Emotionally Healthy After Spine Surgery
Category: Surgery Recovery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 7, 2017
Spine surgery can take a physical toll on your body, but it’s pretty easy to see the scars and project a rehab course for physical trauma. Emotional trauma is a different story. Not only is it impossible to visualize, treating it isn’t always straightforward. However, staying emotionally healthy after surgery is crucial to having a successful rehab, so it shouldn’t be overlooked. Today, we share five ways patients can help themselves stay emotionally positive after a spinal procedure.
Voicing your concerns is the best way to ensure you can get the help you need. Doctors can’t tell that you’re emotionally unbalanced if you put on a show in their office and don’t talk about your issues. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Whether you’re saddened by your inability to get back to work or you’re frustrated by your slow rehab, talk to your doctor about these concerns. They can adjust things as they see fit or set you up with a behavioral specialist so you can talk about your issues.
Venting can actually be a good thing, because it can be healthy to let others know what you’re going through or to express your feelings. However, there’s also a fine line between venting and dwelling on negative emotions. Social media sites aren’t always the best places to vent, because everybody has their own opinion and it can actually make things worse. Take five minutes to vent to a friend or family member about your frustrations. Not only will it feel good to get it off your shoulders, but they may be able to help in other ways.
A daily journal is another thing that many doctors recommend in order to stay in an emotionally healthy place after spine surgery. If you don’t want to vent to friends or family members out loud, writing down your frustrations in a journal can also be cathartic. A journal is also helpful for other reasons. Sometimes it’s difficult to see your rehab progress on a day to day basis, but if you write down details about your therapy sessions or your rehab goals, odds are you’ll be able to flip through your journal and see tangible proof of progress, which goes a long way in helping you achieve a positive mindset after surgery.
Some people also find it helpful to talk to someone who is going through or who went through a similar experience. Ask your surgeon if there are any spine surgery support groups that they know of, otherwise you’ll probably have pretty good luck searching the internet for answers. These groups help reinforce the notion that you’re not going through this process alone, which can go a long way for improving your mental health.
You may not be able to go for a run or swim laps at the pool right after spine surgery, but you’ll probably be able to perform some type of exercise. Previous studies have shown that exercise triggers the release of endorphins in your brain, which act as mood enhancers. We understand the appeal of ordering a pizza and bingeing a new series on Netflix, but that won’t do anything to boost your moral after surgery. Instead of watching three episodes in a row, go for a walk or use the elliptical for 45 minutes and then reward yourself with one episode. It will help keep you in a healthy mindset.