Spine surgery is a significant physical undertaking, but your physical health isn’t the only aspect that needs to be monitored and cared for in the wake of an operation. A spinal operation can also be emotionally taxing, and sometimes this aspect of your health can get overlooked during your recovery. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at how you and your doctor can help care for your mental and emotional health after a spine surgery.
Staying Emotionally Healthy After Back Surgery
Here’s a look at four recommendations we often pass on to patients who have undergone spine surgery to help them remain emotionally balanced throughout their recovery journey.
1. Educate Yourself – One of the biggest causes of stress and concern during the recovery stage of your journey is the fear of the unknown. Patients wonder if the operation will take care of their pain or if they’ll even be able to get back to doing the activities you love. Take the fear of the unknown out of the equation by leaning on your care team for information about your recovery. The more you know about what to expect from your rehab, the more you be able to control stress that can be mentally draining.
2. Participate In Physical Therapy – Another way to limit stress caused by the fear of the unknown is to control what you can control throughout your rehab. There is no way to 100 percent guarantee that you’ll achieve certain results, but by giving it your all during physical therapy and throughout your rehabilitative care plan, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that you are doing your part to control and positively impact your recovery.
3. Seek Active Mental Stimulation – Odds are you’re going to have some time on your hands during your recovery from surgery. While it may be fun to hang out on the couch and have a movie marathon, you’ll also want to work in some active stimulation for your brain. Challenging your brain with books, crosswords or even an episode of Jeopardy can act as exercise for your brain, which is an important aspect of being emotionally healthy. Challenge you brain each day while you recover.
4. Share Your Thoughts – If you’re struggling with any aspect of your recovery, it’s important that you don’t keep these emotions bottled up. Talk with someone about your issues. Even if they can’t offer solutions, sharing your thoughts with others can have emotional benefits. Whether you talk with your medical team, a friend or family member, an online support group or just to your diary, find an outlet to get things off your chest, as this will help with your emotional health.
If you can do these four things, we’re confident that your emotional health won’t suffer while you recover from the physical undertaking of spine surgery. For help with any of the above points or for any challenges you run into during your recovery, reach out to Dr. Chang’s office today.