Essential Tips for a Smooth Recovery After Back Surgery

11 Jul, 2024

Back surgery is a major type of surgery that requires a significant amount of downtime. It’s important to take steps and prepare for the post-surgical recovery period in order to optimize your recovery process after you are cleared to go home. Your treating physician and medical staff should give you written discharge instructions and post-operative care steps to follow, along with prescriptions for medication and physical therapy, but you should still be aware of certain basic steps during your recovery. Here are some tips to aid your recovery from back surgery.

Tips For Postoperative Back Surgery Recovery 

1. If you’re in severe pain, don’t be afraid to seek help

    Proper pain management after surgery is essential to the recovery process for the sake of your physical and mental health. Common prescriptions to treat postoperative pain include anti-inflammatory medications, narcotic pain pills, and Tylenol. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen can slow bone formation, which is why they should be avoided. Your doctor should send you home with written instructions detailing how to best utilize the medications (typically in tandem) for effective pain management while handling side effects like nausea, constipation, and excessive sedation. If you feel a sudden spike in pain or discomfort, don’t hesitate to consult with your doctor.

    2. Sleep in the right position

      Getting enough uninterrupted, continuous sleep is critical to the body’s healing process. Although you’re generally cleared to sleep in whatever position maximizes your personal comfort, minimizing lower back strain through optimized body positioning can help you get better rest. Some ways to relieve pressure on your lower back when sleeping include sleeping with a pillow behind you to support the back or elevating the upper back/shoulder/head area.

      3. Ease the pain with heat and ice

        Frequent ice application in the first 48 to 72 hours, as well as after physical activity, can help with pain management. Applying heat to the surgical area early on can increase blood flow and exacerbate pain and swelling, so should be withheld until a later period, or for relieving muscle pain or tension in other regions of the body.

        4. Stay active and on track

          It’s important to follow your postoperative rehabilitation program, as completing the prescribed exercise and stretching regimen can boost the recovery process significantly and reduce future pain while helping you recover your mobility. Moreover, exercise offers a host of additional benefits, such as releasing endorphins and increasing circulation, which all helps you feel better physically and mentally. While sudden movements and heavy exercise should be avoided, you should stay active through gentle exercise and regular activity like swimming and stretching. Make sure to stick to the exercise/movement restrictions that your doctor gives you to avoid injuring yourself and lengthening the healing process.

          Contact Us Today

          Recovering from back surgery can take a significant amount of time, and it’s important to be patient and listen to your body. However, by following your doctors’ care instructions and keeping in mind the tips above, you should be back on your feet and moving again soon. The Spine and Scoliosis Center is a top spinal clinic in Florida. Call The Spine and Scoliosis Center today to consult with a spinal specialist.


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