Recovery from Back Surgery and Recovery from Spinal Surgery

Getting Moving Again: Recovery After Back Surgery Treatment and Tips

Recovery After Back Surgery: What is Back Surgery and How is it done?

A back surgery is sort of a last resort for when your doctor has subjected you to various treatments to ease your back pain. But more often than not, people who undergo back surgery tend to reap a whole lot of benefits, certainly much more than just pain relief. Some benefits back surgery provides is that:

  • You can move around much better than before
  • You can go back to work now that you are all healed up
  • You can then work on being physically fit
  • You are more productive
  • You don’t need to take any more pain medicine, maybe only a little as you recover

But the reason a back surgery is often used as a last resort is that it is a painstakingly long process (as with most surgeries) and has a higher degree of risk than other back pain treatments. Risks involved with back surgery include:

  • bleeding
  • infection
  • herniated disc
  • nerve damage

Also, people who undergo back surgery often need a lot of time to recover. But once they do recover, they are in a much better shape than they were before. Therefore, whenever undergoing back surgery it is important to wonder or look ahead on the methods on how to recover after a back surgery.

A patient who has undergone back surgery recently, it is important to take time in preparing for the post-surgical recovery period. Your doctor and the nursing staff will most probably put you on medications right after your surgery or task you with written discharge instructions. But there are some practical things that patients and families need to be aware of in terms of recovery after back surgery.

Recovery after Back Surgery: First Few Days

The pain will still persist right after getting your operation, and it is also common to feel spent when you are discharged from the hospital. It is important to shift positions frequently and not spend too much time sitting, standing or lying down. However, it is still important to take long bed rests to speed up recovery but to the couple that with short walks around the house. You can then gradually increase the frequency of your activities, but you should immediately stop if you feel an increase in pain.

Getting Help or Assistance

You should avoid lifting heavy objects right after the surgery, and if you absolutely need to do so, seek help so that you don’t lift the thing all by yourself. Patients are generally not allowed to lift anything that weighs more than 8 pounds. This also includes lifting dishes to wash them as well as cooking food, therefore it is important to have someone to assist you around the house in doing basic chores.

Continual Maintenance of the Wound Area

The site where the surgical wound has been made needs to be washed and checked at least twice a day for a careful measure. This is so that you are able to take note of any infection that might threaten to take place. Symptoms of an infection usually include: fever, chills, and pain and discharge from the site of the wound. Contact your local physician or the surgeon who operated on you at the first sign of these symptoms.

Recovery After Back Surgery: First Three Months

The back will continually heal throughout this period, and the patient can find himself feeling better gradually as he/she tries to take on more and more activities. However, the worst pain right after a surgery is usually felt four weeks after the date of the surgery itself. Pain will continue to decrease as time goes by, so it is important to take note of the pain you are feeling and view a drastic increase in it as a warning to slow down.

Physical Therapy

It is important to slowly engage yourself in physical therapy during this period. A number of activities you could do can range from slow short walks, careful stretching, and finally swimming. Contact a licensed physical therapist for the activities you will do.

Recovery After Back Surgery: Three Months and After

In this stage, as opposed to previous stages where rest was the priority, there is a bigger focus on physical therapy and exercises to speed up recovery. Contrary to what people believe that exercise might damage or aggravate pain in the vertebral disks, physical activity, as long as it is done right actually promotes healing. Of course, lifting, bending and twisting are still to be avoided as strenuous exercises.

Full recovery after back surgery will be apparent for a patient in 8 months, and the bone will continually evolve and fuse for 12 to 18 months.

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Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

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Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

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Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers