Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 26, 2019
Rehabilitation is often just as important to your recovery as the surgery you underwent, and caring for your body during this crucial stage of recovery cannot be overlooked. Unfortunately, some people knowingly or unknowingly do things during their recovery that actually slows down or inhibits the healing process. In today’s blog, we shine a light on some things you can do to avoid slowing down your recovery following back surgery.
Keeping Your Spine Surgery Recovery On Track
Here’s a look at a number of things you can do to avoid prolonging your rehabilitation after spine surgery.
- Do your PT exercises – This time period after surgery is a crucial time for structure healing and strengthening, and physical therapy can assist with both of these processes. Skipping PT appointments or failing to do your at-home exercises will only serve to slow down your recovery. Make sure you’re doing all or your required exercises and attending each and every therapy session.
- A healthy diet – If you’re in pain and immobile because of your surgery, you may want to take your mind off of everything by ordering a pizza or calling up your favorite delivery place. This is fine once and a while, but don’t make a habit of poor dietary choices. Your spine is in a weakened state because of the trauma of surgery, and it’s going to try to draw crucial vitamins and nutrients from your diet. Make sure you’re giving your body these essential nutrients, and drink plenty of water to help increase healthy blood flow to the injury site.
- Care for your wound – Surgical site infections are pretty rare, but they are more likely to happen if you aren’t careful about wound care and changing your dressing. Heed your doctor’s instructions for caring for your surgical site and learn how to clean it and keep it safe when you’re showering. Look for signs of an infection and contact your doctor at the first sign of an issue, as an infection will certainly set your rehab back.
- Don’t overdo it – We understand that you want to get back to a normal life, but if you try to do too much, too soon after your surgery, you can wind up back at square one with an injured back. Overdoing it could even be the reason you needed surgery in the first place, so take it slow during your recovery. If you believe you’re ahead of schedule on your rehab, that’s great, but make sure you receive medical clearance from your surgeon before adjusting your recovery timeline. Far too many patients end up prolonging their recovery because they overstress their recovering spine too soon or too often while it’s still healing.
- Avoid Inactivity – You’ll want to listen to the advice of your doctor when it comes to your rest and inactivity plans, but in most cases, activity is preferred to rest at a certain point in your recovery. Research has shown that patients who are active tend to have faster recoveries than those who remain sedentary for longer periods. Obviously you have to be careful about not overdoing it, but small exercises like walking or simply moving around the house a little bit can help get healthy blood pumping and work to strengthen recovering structures. Those with the fastest recoveries won’t be the ones sitting in bed for weeks letting time do all the work.
For more tips, or to talk to a doctor about your back issue, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.