Back surgery is one of those things you probably don’t even want to go through once, let alone twice. In some instances, it’s not entirely possible to avoid the need for additional spine-related procedures. This is more likely to be the case if surgery is due to some type of trauma. But if back surgery is elective for you, here are some ways you can reduce your odds of needing to undergo another procedure.

1. Follow Your Post-Surgery Rehab Plan

The purpose of a post-surgery rehab plan is to regain your muscle strength in the affected area and increase flexibility and range of motion. However, you’ll be more likely to need a second back surgery if you skip physical therapy appointments or don’t do what’s suggested between supervised sessions. During your recovery, it’s equally important to:

• Look for signs of an infection
• Report any unusual upticks in pain
• Avoid pushing yourself too hard

2. Review Your Lifestyle Preferences

If your initial surgery was because of disc-related damage due to gradual wear, lifestyle issues may have contributed to this problem. If you’re reading this before your initial surgery is scheduled, evaluate your lifestyle habits. Next, make an effort to change the ones that could affect your spine enough to warrant another operation in the future. Pay particular attention to:

• Poor eating habits, which can lead to excess weight that stresses a healing spine
• Tobacco use, which can affect circulation
• Poor sleep habits, since proper sleep helps with healing and recovery

3. Get Regular Exercise

When back surgery is first completed, an initial period of rest and activity modification is typically necessary to give tissues and structures time to heal. However, a return to physical activity is also important, since this is what allows spine-supporting muscles to be strong enough to minimize stress directly placed on spinal bones and discs. From yoga and swimming to walking and low-impact workouts, there are many possible options for spine-friendly forms of exercise.

4. Improve Your Posture

Not being mindful of your posture can increase your risk of needing another operation at some point. For example, if you had a spinal fusion procedure, the fused part of your spine will be less mobile and flexible, which means it’s less capable of handling added stress and strain. As your spine heals, it’s important to avoid putting too much stress on it to reduce the risk of reinjury or issues developing in another part of your backbone. With posture after your initial surgery, be especially mindful of:

• How often you sit
• Your positions when sitting or standing
• Your sleeping positions
• Habits like excessive leaning or slouching

Even if your initial back surgery was due to a sports injury or similar type of trauma, the tips discussed here may help you avoid a second procedure. It’s equally important to communicate with your Los Angeles spine surgeon before and after your initial surgery, as this will give you a better idea of what to expect and what you can do to increase your odds of enjoying positive long-term results.

Whether they have artificial disc replacements or minimally invasive procedures such as XLIF surgery, Los Angeles patients can lessen their chances of needing additional surgical procedures by following these tips. For more information about how to minimize the necessity of a second back surgery, reach out to the experienced professionals at The Spine Institute. Call us today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an appointment.