Most people focus on the practical preparations for spine surgery in Los Angeles such as scheduling time off from work. Yet there’s compelling research suggesting the importance of also being psychologically prepared in advance of your operation. Doing so can increase your odds of enjoying a positive outcome.
Get the Right Amount of Information
If you’re an information-seeker, you’ll benefit from knowing as much as possible about your procedure ahead of time. However, some people become increasingly anxious and overwhelmed when presented with too much medical info. If you’re in this category, just getting the basic details will serve your better.
Have Realistic Expectations
Most people only remember about 30 to 50 percent of the verbal information they’re given about their procedure. Consequently, you may be expecting to be pain-free after surgery while your board-certified back doctor is hoping your condition becomes manageable. Schedule a separate appointment to ask questions and get on the same page.
Develop Coping Thoughts
Avoid negative thoughts like assuming the worst or blaming yourself for letting your condition advance this far. Develop positive coping thoughts by completing the following sentences:
- I am having this procedure because…
- I can take control of my situation now by…
- I am looking forward to completing my recovery so I can…
Learn Relaxation Techniques
A little anxiety prior to back surgery is normal. Learning simple relaxation techniques can help you deal with these moments. Involving slow, paced breathing from your diaphragm, deep breathing can be done just about anytime and anywhere. Some other relaxation techniques include:
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Counting or breathing meditation
- Mindful meditation
- Visualization, or guided imagery
Have a Reliable Support System
Share your feelings about your back surgery with friends and family members and don’t be afraid to let them know you’ll need their reassurances. Having this extra level of support can be a reliable source of emotional comfort before and after your operation.
Preparing psychologically for back surgery has many possible advantages, including having less stress and anxiety prior to your procedure. Numerous studies also suggest that well-prepared patients tend to have fewer complications, experience less post-surgery pain, and enjoy a quicker return to health.
For more information about spine surgery, or to learn more about options for back pain relief, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. One of our experienced spine specialists can review the details of your case and discuss non-surgical treatments for back pain as well as surgical options that preserve mobility. To schedule an in-person consultation, call our office today at (310) 828-7757.