Successful recovery following back surgery can be achieved by being as prepared for what you’ll need after your operation as you were before you had the procedure. Maintain your overall physical and emotional health by considering some of these post-surgery must-haves.
Raspberries, pears and apples without skins, whole wheat spaghetti, and air-popped popcorn are just some of the foods you can incorporate into your diet after surgery to get the fiber you need to minimize constipation. Additional nutritional sources worth considering include:
• Healthy whole foods • Nutritional supplements and vitamins • Meals prepared in advance, frozen meals, or home-delivered meals • Dark chocolate or ice cream, in moderation, for an endorphin boost
A pill organizer can help you keep track of painkillers you’ll likely need to take following back surgery. Also consider asking a friend or family member to come over daily to make sure you take everything as directed.
Make life easier during your recovery with some special assistance equipment. Aids often used by patients following back surgery include:
• Canes or walkers • Toilet risers • Heating pads and ice packs • Back scratchers • Grabbers to get stuff off of shelves • Body pillows for added comfort
If you live alone, have a friend or neighbor come over periodically to offer assistance or comfort. For some people, it’s easier to text or make phone calls, so be flexible with what works for those who want to offer support. Social support can also include:
• Getting help around the house or with pets that may need regular walks • Inviting people over for lunch or dinner once you start feeling better • Finding online support groups where you can share your thoughts with others going through the same thing • Taking advantage of ride-sharing or ride services to get to appointments and run errands
Have an overall wellness plan that includes a board-certified spine surgeon you like and trust. You’re more likely to be honest about any post-surgery discomfort with someone who makes you feel comfortable. Get back to regular sleep habits, maintain a good attitude, and realize that everyone has a different recovery experience, so be patient.
For more information on back or spine surgery and the recovery process, call The Spine Institute Center in Beverly Hills at (310) 828-7757 and request an in-person consultation.