Everyone wants to make a full recovery after their spinal operation, but it’s not enough to just want it, you have to actively work for it. However, if you go about it the wrong way, you can actually end up slowing your recovery or making your condition worse. In today’s blog, we share three things you may unknowingly be doing that could hinder your recovery following spine surgery.
How You’re Hurting Your Recovery From Spine Surgery
We try to cover all of these points with our patients before they are discharged, but here’s a look at three ways you may be unknowingly hindering your rehab after spine surgery.
1. Assuming Rest Is Best – Rest is great in the immediate aftermath of a surgical procedure. Tissues have been cut, areas and been decompressed, and your whole body has experienced a unique trauma. Rest is just what the doctor ordered. However, after a few days, rest becomes part of the equation and active treatment modalities become a bigger slice of the pie. You’re not just going to be able to lay in bed for six weeks and then hop out of bed fully recovered. It’s going to take movement and strength training to help stabilize the surgical site and get tissues back to pre-surgical levels of conditioning. Don’t just assume that time alone will heal all wounds.
2. Jumping Back Into Activity Too Soon – We get it, you want to get back to doing all the things you used to be able to do prior to your injury or surgery. You want to get behind the wheel of a car, you want to get back to work, or you just want to pick up your grandchildren. We’ll be with you every step of the way as your work towards these goals, but it’s important you don’t try to do them too quickly following your operation. Putting your back under too much pressure too soon can cause hardware to break or shift, or it can cause a previous problem to return. Your body is in a fragile state while it recovers. Take it slow and always check with your surgeon about changing your timeline if you believe you are ready for certain physical tasks that you’ve not yet been cleared for. Nobody wants to undergo a second operation because they caused the original problem to return.
3. Over-reliance On Medication – Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications can be a perfect compliment to your rehabilitation plan, but just like rest, you shouldn’t see it as a driving force in your recovery. Painkillers should be used in order to quell discomfort and to make it easier for you to participate in active treatment modalities, like physical therapy or exercise. They need to be a complimentary treatment resource, not something to completely drown out pain while healing runs its course. They can become addictive and cause a range of related problems if abused, so make sure you talk with your surgeon about a safe medication plan during your rehabilitation.
For more information about any of the above tips, or for help with your back pain, reach out to Dr. Chang’s office today.