If surgery is deemed your best bet for relief from back pain, you’re likely to have reasonable expectations for what your life will be like after the procedure. In addition to making sure you and your board-certified spinal surgeon are on the same page with the expected outcome, there are other productive steps you can take to maximize the benefits of your back surgery.
1. Stay Active
Rest is only beneficial for a few days following most back surgeries. Follow recommendations from your physical therapist and incorporate appropriate daily activities like walking around inside and outside of your home or going into your garden back into your routine.
2. Watch Your Diet
Lack of proper nutrition can make it difficult for your healing spine to get the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay strong. Avoid sugary foods and focus more on lean proteins like boneless, skinless poultry, low-fat dairy products, and an assortment of fruits and veggies.
3. Know When to Ask for Help
Don’t take a chance with attempting to rearrange the furniture yourself or lift something heavy. Seek help for activities that may be too stressful for your healing spine both at home and when you go back to work.
4. Set Small, Achievable Goals
Whether it’s getting back to work or resuming your normal exercise routine, having realistic goals can give you an added incentive as you progress with your recovery. You’ll gain more confidence as you reach your goals and set new ones.
5. Change Unhealthy Habits
If you were instructed to stop smoking prior to spinal surgery, make that a permanent change since cigarette smoke affects blood vessels supplying nutrients to your spine. Adopting a regular fitness routine, watching your posture while sitting and standing, and knowing when to take a break now and then can further maximize back surgery benefits.
Be just as mindful of your daily movements after back surgery. While regular exercise restores muscle strength, it can also be a source of unexpected pain if you push yourself too much. Stay in touch with your doctor as you recover to get a feel for what’s normal and what may require attention.
If you would like to learn more about treatments for spinal pain or are interested in a second opinion, reach out to Dr. Bae and his team at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration in Los Angeles. Dr. Bae specializes in minimally invasive back surgery as well as motion-preserving spine surgery. Call our office today at (310) 828-7757 to schedule a consultation.