People who suffer from back pain know how exhausting and difficult it can get. Some spend days without being able to get out of bed or stand up straight on their own. Although medicines and physical therapy can be helpful, the number of people opting for spinal surgery is still very high and one thing that worries most of them is how they’ll recover after the procedure. Here is some advice on how to speed up the recovery and make it less unpleasant.
Mind Your Diet
The period after any surgery is when you have to be extra careful about what you eat. The trick is to increase your calorie intake, since your body will need them to heal, but make sure those calories count. This means that you should avoid foods rich in fats and especially processed sugar, since those foods can damage or slow down your immune system when you need it most. Instead, choose foods loaded with protein and other foods rich in nutrients, such as grains, fruit and vegetables. Protein shakes and various supplements might be helpful, too. However, before taking any of them, be sure to consult your doctor. They will tell you what the best options for you are. Furthermore, always stay hydrated, but stay away from cigarettes and alcohol while recovering, since they can be harmful for the whole process.
Get Enough Sleep
In order for your body to heal, it will need strength, and one way to renew your energy is to sleep according to your normal routine. This means a minimum of seven or eight hours’ sleep. However, if you feel like you need more sleep than that, make sure you get it, even though you should avoid long naps during the day. They might seem like a great idea when you feel drowsy, but they might stop you from falling asleep in the evening or from sleeping uninterruptedly, which is very important. Although falling asleep might seem difficult after your surgery, due to some discomfort and pain, you should still try to create a sleeping schedule and follow it as closely as you can.
Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
There are some general tips for faster healing after any surgical procedure, but don’t forget that each patient and each surgery are different. For this reason, it’s extremely important to listen to what your surgeon and your physician tell you to do and how to behave during the postoperative period. This is something you should start thinking about before you even undergo the surgery. Finding a reliable and experienced neurosurgeon, such as the distinguished Dr. Timothy Steel, could allow you to worry less and have your surgery performed as efficiently and as painlessly as possible. When your doctor gives you an estimate on the time you’ll need to heal, the ways you can manage your pain and a detailed recovery plan, you need to take all of it seriously and follow it to make things easier on yourself.
Don’t Push Yourself
One thing that you’ll most likely have to avoid after your procedure is putting your body under any unnecessary pressure. This means that you should keep yourself from lifting anything heavy, but also not to bend or twist your body more than you have to. This is also something your doctor should inform you of. They will tell you how much weight you’ll be allowed to lift, as well as how and when you can exercise and rehabilitate after the surgery. Avoid any chores that require you to bend or lift things and those that can cause you pain from standing in one position for too long, like doing the dishes or cooking. The best solution would be to have somebody help you with all these things during your recovery period, so that you can completely focus on getting better.
Deal With Your Pain
Before your surgery, talk to your doctor to find out what to expect when it comes to pain. More precisely, learn where you’ll feel the pain, how severe it might be and how long before it ceases. Anything that falls outside this scope should be reported to your doctor immediately, since it can mean there’s been a complication that needs to be treated right away. When it comes to dealing with standard post-surgical pain, wearing a brace might help. It should keep your back in a proper position, so that you don’t hurt yourself accidentally. And even though you will probably get some pain medication, you can always ease some of the pain by applying heat and ice packs in turns on the painful spot.
These tips may help you recover faster, but the best advice that you can get will come from your doctor. Therefore, don’t hesitate to ask them anything you need to know about your procedure, ways to prepare for it and how to heal afterwards.
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.