Category: Surgery Recovery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 12, 2018
Back surgery can go a long way in helping alleviate your spine pain, but the operation itself is only part of your road to recovery. After surgery, it’s time for you to put in the work to help your spine heal to its full potential. But what should you do and what should you avoid if you want to make a full recovery after back surgery? We’ll cover the do’s and don’ts for life after spine surgery in this blog.
Do rest, but don’t sit still
In the first few days after spine surgery, it is important to rest and take it easy while your spine recovers from the trauma of surgery. That said, you’re not going to make a full recovery by laying in bed and watching Netflix for two weeks. You want to rest, but you also want to slowly increase your activity level pretty soon after surgery. Whether that’s a 10-minute walk or doing some light physical therapy exercises, low energy movements can actually be more beneficial than rest shortly after surgery.
Do exercise, but don’t overdo it
This is kind of the same as the above point, but in reverse. After your surgeon has cleared you for exercise or physical therapy, you want to help strengthen structures by exercising and moving, but you don’t want to overdo it and cause an injury. Again, slowly work up your duration and intensity, because your body is in a weakened state. If you push too hard, you can tear muscles that were cut in order to access the surgical site, or you can cause the surgery itself to fail. We know you’re itching to get back on the field or out for a run, but patience will be your best friend.
Do manage pain, but don’t rely on medications or try and get by without them
For a lot of patients who are undergoing surgery for the first time, this is also the first time they’ll have access to more intense painkillers. Some people are reluctant to use these medications, while others want to take as many as safely possible to keep pain at bay. Neither of these are ideal strategies. Talk with your doctor about the best ways to manage your pills and your pain. Let them know if you’re hesitant to try certain painkillers, and discuss your pain tolerance and how to stay ahead of your pain without relying on or abusing pain medications.
Do rely on the doctor, don’t go it alone
Finally, lean on the surgeon and the medical team for any questions or concerns you might have. Google may have some answers, but for the best advice your your specific situation, ask your doctor. Too many people try to do everything on their own or are hesitant to reach out to their medical team because they don’t want to seem like a bother. If you are unsure about anything, or you just want to confirm you’re doing everything you should to make a full recovery, just give us a call!