Back pain is often seen as just a physical injury, but oftentimes there’s more too it than just that. Back injuries can prevent us form doing the activities we love, they can keep us out of work and they can leave us yearning for the mobility we once had. All of that can take a heavy emotional and mental toll on our health, so when caring for back problems, we can’t just focus on the physical injury. Below, we share some tips for keeping your mental and emotional states in good health while you recover from a back injury or spine surgery.
Tips For Your Mental Health After A Spine Injury
We’ll give you some personalized tips for caring for your physical injury when you stop into our office depending on the exact nature of your injury, but here are some general tips for keeping your mind in good spirits as you work towards recovery.
1. Ask Questions – Sometimes our biggest fear during the recovery process is the fear of the unknown. If you’re anxious about your recovery, there’s a good chance that at least some of that anxiety comes from lack of information or misinformation. Ask questions to your doctor, and you’ll find some reassurance in their answers. The educated patient is more likely to take positive steps for their mind and their body, and that’s extremely important during the healing process. Ask about your treatment outcomes, what you should be doing, and what treatments you might try if the first ones don’t work out. You’ll find that knowledge has the power to positively impact your mental and emotional state.
2. Look On The Bright Side – This is easier said than done, but it’s imperative that you try to focus on the positives associated with your surgery or your recovery. Don’t think about what could go wrong, think about what you’ll be able to do again assuming everything goes as planned. Whether you’re looking forward to playing with your grandchildren or returning to the sport you love, focus on all the positives that will come with successful surgery and recovery, because these outcomes are much more common than setbacks. This positive thinking will help keep your mindset in a good place.
3. Find An Outlet – Many people find it helpful to talk about what they are going through with someone else. Invite a friend over and talk about what’s going on in each other’s lives, find an online message board for people who are going through the same thing, or simply create a journal to put your thoughts on paper. Expressing yourself instead of keeping everything cooped up inside is another great way to care for your mental and emotional state.
4. Find Distractions – Don’t just lay in bed hoping your pain will subside, throw yourself into some activities that will take your brain off your back injury and into a more engaging topic. Crossword puzzles, books, a new TV show, shopping online for an upcoming birthday, engaging in your physical therapy routines or simply going for a walk around the block will help keep your brain engaged in a healthier activity than simply focusing on your discomfort.
For professional help with any aspect of your back pain, be it physical, emotional or mental, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Chang’s office today.