How to Stay on Track with Back Surgery Recovery in Los Angeles, CA

Being involved with your recovery is just as important as preparing for spine surgery itself. Still, some people, intentionally or unintentionally, do things post-surgery that make recovery a longer and more frustrating process. If this happens, you may find yourself experiencing new issues with added stress and anxiety. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to keep your recovery on track after spine surgery.

1. Keep Your Physical Therapy Appointments and Do Your Exercises

Physical therapy is an important part of spine surgery recovery, since it’s highly individualized and designed to restrengthen the spine-supporting muscles in a safe and productive way. However, you’re not going to reap these rewards if you skip appointments or fail to do suggested therapeutic exercises at home between sessions.

2. Be Mindful of What You Eat (and Drink)

During your recovery, you may be tempted to turn to pizza and other comforting or convenient foods to take your mind off your post-surgery discomfort or your temporary limitations. This is fine every now and then, but your spine will be more likely to heal well if you also opt for nutrient-rich foods, such as:

  • Lean proteins
  • Fresh fruits and veggies
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Healthy snacks, such as mixed nuts and Greek yogurt mixed with berries

Also, drink plenty of water. The extra hydration keeps nutrients flowing to your spine. If you’re concerned about meal prep, consider preparing healthy meals in advance and storing them in your freezer. You can then simply heat them up during your first week or two of recovery.

3. Be Proactive About Wound Care

Post-surgical infections are rare but could still happen if you’re not careful about doing things such as changing your dressing as directed. Also, follow any advice your Beverly Hills spine surgeon may have given you about bathing and cleaning the wound site, and be aware of signs that suggest you may have an infection, including:

  • Redness and/or swelling around the wound site
  • Unusually warm skin around the surgical area
  • Oddly colored or cloudy wound discharge
  • Increased pain around the wound area
  • High or persistent fever

4. Don’t Push Yourself Too Much

It’s perfectly understandable to want to get back to your normal routine ASAP following spine surgery. However, if you push yourself too hard, you could reinjure the area of your spine that was operated on or weaken another part of your backbone that’s already stressed from picking up the slack until the affected area fully heals.

If you do find yourself progressing much better than expected as you recover, that’s great. Just make sure you check with your doctor before getting more active. Your physical therapist can also make appropriate adjustments as long as you provide ongoing feedback about how you’re responding to therapy.

5. Don’t Remain Inactive

On the other hand, being too inactive isn’t good for a healing spine either. The spine-supporting muscles need stimulation so they can become stronger and more supportive. You don’t want to overdo it, but there’s research suggesting patients who are more active tend to recover more quickly. Less demanding forms of activity that may be beneficial include:

  • Walking at a comfortable pace (both inside and outside your home)
  • Doing light housework
  • Performing simple exercises or stretches (with doctor approval)

Whether they have spinal fusion surgery or a vertebroplasty procedure, Beverly Hills spine surgery patients can help their recovery go as smoothly as possible by following the tips listed above. For more information about how to have 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.