Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Your diet plays a crucial role in helping you recover after a surgical procedure. If you give your body access to a range of vitamins and minerals that support healthy tissue growth and inflammation control, you may find that you can shorten your recovery period. In today’s blog, we share some tips to use your diet to help fuel your recovery after spine surgery.
Improving Your Surgical Recovery Through A Healthy Diet
What you put in your body is one of the most controllable factors after your surgical procedure, and while diet alone won’t be what helps you make the strongest recovery after surgery, it can certainly help or hinder your rehabilitation. With that in mind, here are some diet tips to keep in mind as you work to recover following a surgical procedure.
- Start Before Surgery – You shouldn’t wait until after surgery to improve your diet. Surgery is a major trauma on your body, and if your body has access to healthy nutrients before surgery, it will better be able to handle the physical demands of the procedure. Obviously be mindful of any eating restrictions that your surgeon gives you in the lead up to your operation, but don’t feel like you need to wait until after surgery to eat a range of healthy foods. Previous studies have found that malnourished individuals have greater risks of surgical complications, so work to improve your diet ahead of surgery.
- Mind Your Calorie Intake – You should always be somewhat mindful of your calorie consumption, but that’s especially true in the wake of spine surgery. Odds are the surgery will make you a little less active than you normally are, which also means you’re burning fewer calories. If you continue to consume calories like normal but aren’t burning them off as easily, you can end up gaining weight. Since your spine handles a lot of the stress of your body weight, any weight gain will only put more stress on your spine at a time when it is already weakened from surgery. You don’t need to starve yourself, but try to stay close to a healthy daily calorie intake.
- Get A Range Of Foods – Make sure you are getting nutrients from a variety of food sources so that your body has access to different essential vitamins and minerals. Eat a range of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fibers and fatty fish so that your body is not short on the nutrients that aid in crucial repair processes.
- Set Yourself Up For Success – As noted in a previous blog on some of the things you should do prior to your spine surgery, you should consider meal planning and prepping prior to your procedure. You’re not going to want to go grocery shopping or spend a lot of time cooking in the kitchen while you’re recovering from spine surgery, but that doesn’t mean you should rely on flash frozen dinners or delivery from the restaurant up the street. Do some grocery shopping prior to your operation and consider preparing some healthy and easy to reheat meals so that you have plenty of nutritious options to choose from while you’re recovering at home.
- Drink Plenty Of Water – Finally, water intake is also a crucial part of your diet following spine surgery. Staying hydrated makes it easier for your blood vessels to help facilitate healthy blood flow. If you’re dehydrated, blood vessels constrict and your blood can’t circulate as easily, making it harder for your spinal tissues to have access to the nutrients in your bloodstream. It’s also easy to overlook water intake after surgery because you’re not physically active and sweating, but your body is working hard to recover from surgery, and it needs you to help replenish lost fluids.
If you heed these diet tips and stick to your rehabilitation plan, we’re confident you’ll make a strong recovery after spine surgery. For more tips, or for help with a spine issue that you’re dealing with, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (65) 430-3800.