How will my Pain be controlled after Spine Surgery?

Category: Back Pain, Surgery Recovery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: August 20, 2014

opioidsEvery surgery comes with post-op recovery pain. Most spine surgeries help to relieve intense pain, but surgery still involves making incisions. These surgical wounds take some time to heal after surgery. Thankfully there are pain relief options for patients as they heal after spinal surgery.

Pain Medicine

There are a variety of pain medications that can help mitigate pain after surgery. NSAIDs are the most common and widely available. Opioid medications may also be prescribed depending on the level of pain, but these must be highly regulated to avoid addiction. Generally opioids will be prescribed immediately after the procedure to deal with the worst of the pain, and NSAIDs will be used to gradually ween the patient off of the highly addictive opioids.

Physical Therapy

It is a common myth that back pain is best treated with rest and immobility. On the contrary, the best way to heal back pain is to remain active. Sitting down all day can actually hinder the healing process. Rehabilitation exercises can help loosen up the area of operation and help you recover quickly. That’s not to say that you should run a marathon after your operation. But moderate exercise and stretching can be greatly beneficial in combating pain. Your doctor can recommend some rehab exercises that will help you the most.

Communicate with your Surgeon

The most important thing to do before and after your operation is talk with your surgeon. Before the procedure, ask them what to expect post-op. Will it be painful? What are my options for managing the pain? Your surgeon and his team will develop a plan to manage your pain following your surgery. They will walk you through this before the procedure, but be sure to ask any questions if you have them.

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