Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
It’s important to be mindful of what you put inside your body at all times, but that’s especially true in the wake of a surgical procedure. Your nutrition and medication intake can fuel you to a speedy recovery or derail your progress if you’re not careful. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some helpful ways to manage your nutrition and medication intake following a spinal procedure.
How To Manage Your Nutrition After Spine Surgery
We’ll break this into two sections and begin with diet and nutrition advice after your spinal procedure. Here’s what you’ll want to keep in mind in terms of your nutritional intake:
- High Fiber Options – Foods that are high in fiber will be very helpful after your operation because they help you stay regular with your bowel movements. Medication and inactivity can lead to constipation, and that can be very uncomfortable as you’re recovering from the trauma of surgery. Help to keep digestion and bowel movements regular with high-fiber options.
- Vary Your Vitamins and Nutrients – You will also want to get a range of healthy vitamins and nutrients through your diet, as they can help aid in the recovery process. Junk foods or foods that are high in fat can be pro-inflammatory, which can inhibit healing. Vegetables, fruits and whole-grains can help your body pull essential nutrients from food sources.
- Prep Some Healthy Easy-To-Reheat Meals – We’ve said this on the blog in the past, but consider preparing some healthy and easy-to-reheat meals so that you have some easy options to choose from after your operation. It may not be as easy to cook while you’re recovering from surgery, and having some healthy options that are easily reheated will make it easier for you to choose healthy options instead of fast food or fast frozen options.
Managing Your Medications
You also want to be smart about how you manage your medications following surgery. Here are some tips to help with that process.
- Use As Directed – Only take medications as recommended by your provider. Don’t try to stay ahead of your pain by taking medications before the correct intervals. Make sure you understand how you are advised to take your medications, and follow this schedule.
- Consider Laxative Or Stool Softeners – Again, constipation can make life quite uncomfortable after spine surgery, so consider taking a stool softener or mild laxative to avoid a bowel backup.
- Anti-Inflammatory Medications – Talk to your doctor to ensure that any over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications are safe to take in combination with your prescription painkillers. These OTC painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications can make it easier for you to be more mobile and participate in physical therapy shortly after your operation.
- Pill Box – If you’re taking multiple prescriptions and OTC medications, it doesn’t hurt to organize your day with a pill box or similar receptacle. These can help you stay on schedule and ensure you’re taking the correct amount.
- Talk About Alternatives – Finally, if certain medications are causing uncomfortable side effects like constipation, bloating or gas, see if there are any alternatives that can provide similar relief that will not affect your body as much. Talking to your surgeon or their care team can help you understand possible alternative medications if your current prescription is causing issues.
For help with any aspect of your spine surgery recovery, be it your nutrition, medications or related aspects, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.