What Helps & Hurts Your Neck After Surgery?

Category: Neck Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 19, 2017

After Neck Surgery

When it comes to recovering after neck surgery, nobody wants to do actions that negatively impact their recovery. However, many people unknowingly stress their neck after surgery without even realizing it. Below, we take a look at some ways you can help and hurt your neck after cervical spine surgery.

Hurting Your Neck After Spine Surgery

Here are a few ways you may be knowingly or unknowingly stressing your neck after surgery:

  • Phone Use – If your activity levels are restricted in the days or weeks after neck surgery, you’re probably looking for different ways to stay entertained, and many people will turn to the smartphone in their pocket. If you’re not careful, you’ll probably be craning your neck forward to stare at your phone, and if you do this long enough, you can jeopardize the integrity of the surgical operation you just underwent. Try to limit your phone use and keep it out in front of you while your neck recovers.
  • Poor Diet and Hydration – Nobody would argue with you for wanting pizza or ice cream after your surgery, but don’t make a habit out of making less-than-ideal dietary choices. Junk foods and excess sugar can contribute to the development of inflammation in the recovering tissues, which can delay healing. The same can be said for your hydration levels. If you become dehydrated, your body won’t be able to bring necessary vitamins and nutrients to the recovering structures as easily.
  • Returning To Work Too Quickly – You might think that you can return to work right after neck surgery if you work an office job, but sitting at your desk all day, oftentimes without proper posture, can wreck havoc on your neck. Listen to your doctor’s instructions about when you can return to work, and always ask them for their input if you feel like your recovery timeline could be adjusted.

How To Help Your Neck After Surgery

Now that we’ve shared some ways you may be unknowingly hurting your neck, let’s share some tips for expediting your recovery after an operation.

  • Listen To Your Doctor – This may sound obvious, but the doctor really does know best. Listen to their instructions and following their recovery guidelines. If you think you are ahead or behind schedule, talk to them about adjusting your schedule. Going off on your own is a quick way to re-injure your neck.
  • Partake in Physical Therapy – We can’t underscore this enough. Physical therapy targets the exact muscle groups that need strengthening after an operation, so don’t skip your sessions. Not only will this help you recover quicker after neck surgery, but you’ll also make a fuller recovery.
  • Move – You might think that rest is the best way to help the surgical site heal, and while it’s great for the first few days, exercise can actually be better for you than rest. Exercise and range of motion routines will work to strengthen tissues and help blood flow to recovering areas of your neck. Don’t just assume three weeks in bed after surgery will be best for your neck, because it won’t be.

For more ways on how you can help your neck after cervical spine surgery, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi today.

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