Spine-related procedures performed today are generally considered more reliable than even a decade or so ago. This is largely because of improvements in technology and patient care coupled with the widespread adoption of less invasive surgical techniques. While this is certainly welcome news, there are still some things you’ll want to know before spinal surgery.
Your Los Angeles spine surgeon will prescribe painkillers after spinal surgery to help with post-procedure discomfort as you heal. However, it’s best to avoid getting into the habit of relying solely on pain meds as you recover. Instead, plan to be more proactive about post-surgery pain management by:
• Taking medication only when it’s needed
• Listening to your body to get a better feel for your natural pain tolerance level
• Getting relief from hot and cold applications and other non-drug pain management methods
Don’t expect to jump back into your normal routine right away after spinal surgery. Within the first 48 hours or so after surgery, you’ll be more likely to tire easily. Part of the reason for this is because your body’s natural healing processes will be kicking into high gear. Also, overdoing it can reinjure your spine or contribute to entirely new sources of spine-related pain. Plan to find a happy medium with your post-surgery activities by:
• Boosting your natural energy with your diet
• Getting someone to help with more strenuous tasks
• Checking with your doctor before you step up your activities
Drinking water after spinal surgery is essential because you’ll naturally lose a lot of fluids as you recover, even when you’re not yet all that active. Staying sufficiently hydrated also boosts the flow of nutrient-rich blood to your surgical site and helps tissues heal.
When it comes to food, you’ll want to choose healthy, nutrient-loaded options because your body will need vitamins to help structures in and around your spine heal. Make sure not to overdo it with comfort foods. You’ll have a more productive recovery if you maintain a healthy diet and keep your weight in check.
Because meal prep duties will likely be a bit demanding post-surgery, consider preparing healthy meals before your surgery and placing them in the freezer. Another option is to make arrangements for healthy meal deliveries from one of the many companies that provide such services.
Lastly, realize you’ll be better off if you fully commit to your recovery right away once your procedure is completed. Particularly during the early days of recovery, you’ll need to be especially diligent about following post-care instructions, which means being engaged in your physical therapy sessions and sticking to your healing and recovery plan. Doing so will ultimately help you by:
• Preventing the buildup of scar tissue
• Restoring and improving your range of motion
• Restrengthening your spine-supporting muscle groups
Whether they have artificial disc replacements or minimally invasive procedures such as coflex surgery, Los Angeles spine surgery patients can boost their chances for smooth recovery by preparing themselves ahead of time. For more information about how to prepare for a safe, healthy recovery, reach out to the experienced professionals at The Spine Institute. Call us today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an appointment.