Recovering from spine surgery can be a long process, even if you only had a minimally invasive procedure. At The Spine Care Center in Manassas, our spine doctors and staff want you to have the best recovery possible — which means a recovery that is both quick and safe. During your spine surgery recovery, follow these four tips to stay healthy, reduce pain, and get back to your normal activities faster.
Prepare Your Home for a Great Recovery
Before you even undergo surgery, you can start preparing for a great recovery. With a few small changes to your home, you can make life after surgery easier. You should:
- Move any items you use frequently (dishes, cups, toiletries, etc.) to easy-to-reach locations
- Prepare frozen or easy-to-cook meals
- Get slip-on shoes to avoid having to bend over to tie laces
- Purchase a reacher-grabber to avoid having to bend down or raise your arms over your head
- Create a comfortable environment to rest, such as a recliner in the living room
- Get movies, books, or other forms of entertainment ready
- Enlist help from friends and family for the days following your surgery
Preparing for your recovery can make the process much easier and less stressful.
Ask for Help with Pain
You don’t need to suffer through recovery. Following your procedure, you may leave the hospital with prescription pain medicines as well as other medicines to help relieve nausea. You should take these exactly as directed by your doctor.
Moreover, you may also be able to help ease pain with hot or cold packs. Your spine surgeon can help you understand how to use these more effectively. Talk with your surgeon at length about pain management for your recovery.
If you are still experiencing significant pain, talk to your doctor about changing up your pain management techniques. Proper pain management can help you return to function more quickly after surgery.
Sleep Often and Sleep Well
Sleep provides your body time to rest and heal. As you recover, be sure you are receiving at least 8 hours of sleep each night. You should be able to sleep in almost any position after back surgery, but your doctor will let you know if you should avoid any sleeping positions.
Many patients find that after back surgery, the most comfortable way to lie down is with their back slightly elevated and with pillows beneath their knees. This position can help take strain off the back as you sleep. By ensuring that you can sleep comfortably, you put your body in the best position to recover quickly.
Do What Your Physical Therapist Says
After your surgery, you will probably participate in a rehabilitation program led by a physical therapist. You may go to an outpatient physical therapy practice or a physical therapist may come to you. Either way, put a strong effort into completing the exercises during your appointments.
Even more importantly, complete all your home physical therapy exercises. These exercises strengthen your back, increase your flexibility, and can even help with pain. People who actively participate in physical therapy have faster recoveries and are more likely to return to normal back function.
Do you have other questions about spine surgery or recovery? Call The Spine Care Center in Manassas today at (703) 257-2266 or request an appointment online. Our spine doctors are here to help you recover faster.