Spine surgery will help the vast majority of patients in the long-term, but in the first few days or weeks after an operation, you may feel physically limited and emotionally drained. This is normal, but that doesn’t make it any easier. That said, if you keep some tips in mind and follow the doctor’s advice, we’re confident you’ll have a successful recovery and rehab after an operation. Here’s a look at how to thrive after spinal surgery.
Getting Better After Spine Surgery
Follow these five tips after your spinal operation, and you’ll be on your way to a great recovery.
1. Follow Your Rehab Guidelines – The most obvious advice we can give is to stick to the rehab and physical therapy guidelines outlined by your surgeon or treating physician. The doctor know best, and since they’ve put in the work to surgically help you heal, you need to put in the physical work to help your body strengthen and recover after an operation. Don’t skip therapy or try to get back to work before it is advised.
2. Use Adaptive Equipment – Some spinal procedures can leave you pretty restricted in movement and activity, so rely on some adaptive equipment when needed. Pieces like toilet seat raisers, walkers, hand rails and grabbers to help make daily tasks more manageable while you’re physically restricted.
3. Write in a Journal – Keeping a journal or a diary of your recovery is beneficial on multiple levels. For starters, it provides a tangible way for you to view your recovery in real-time. It’s easy to end up discouraged if you’re not recovering as fast as you would like, but a journal can help you go back and see how far you’ve come. It’s also helpful to track symptoms or issues you’re having if you need to be re-admitted, because you’ll have dates and details of what’s been going on.
4. Stimulate Your Brain – Sometimes the worst part of recovering after an operation is that you just feel bored out of your mind. Don’t just watch Netflix or pass the time by surfing the web on your phone. Find some ways to actively challenge your brain, like crossword puzzles or books. Keeping yourself emotionally healthy is just as important as being physically healthy after an operation.
5. Rely on Others – Finally, you’re not going to be able to do everything on your own after your surgery, and that’s perfectly normal. Rely on others to help you get the kids to school or do your grocery shopping. Trying to do too much right after an operation can overstress weakened areas and even lead to surgical failure, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Friends and family can also help put you in a healthy frame of mind, which as we noted above, is also crucial to a healthy recovery, so consider calling a loved one or having some friends over for dinner while you’re working back to full health.
For more tips, or to talk to a doctor about your spine pain, reach out to Dr. Chang’s clinic today.