Prepping for Back Pain Surgery & Recovery
Are you considering undergoing back pain surgery? If so, you’re not alone. Worldwide, back pain is one of the leading causes of disability, and each year, almost 500,000 Americans have surgery to treat lower back pain.
Whether the procedure is a spinal fusion, decompression, or something else entirely, preparation is key for a successful surgery and recovery. Below, we discuss a few practical tips patients should consider before back pain surgery.
Prepping For Back Pain Surgery
- Keep Moving: In the days before your surgery, keep moving unless you’ve been told not to by a medical professional. Being inactive can cause weight gain, which isn’t ideal when you’re about to get surgery. Physical activity can also improve circulation and help you avoid other post-surgery issues. Plus, some forms of back pain actually will bother you less if you’re moving around. Just sitting on the couch can exacerbate your pain in some cases.
- Research: In some cases, learning more about your upcoming back surgery can help you prepare for it. By knowing more about fusion, decompression, and other techniques that we use, you might be able to put your mind at ease. Depending on how you react to stressful events like surgeries, knowing more about it can provide a tangible benefit. We’re ready to answer any questions you have, of course.
- Take Stock of Medications: Know what kind of medications you’re taking and discuss with your doctor. Certain drugs could interfere with your surgery, causing complications or the need for a longer recovery time. This applies to supplements or even herbal treatments as well. As you think about how to prepare for your back surgery, don’t forget about those
Recovering From Back Pain Surgery
In addition to pre-surgery preparation, you’ll also want to make sure that you’re preparing for the period after. The length of recovery can depend on which procedure you had, but on average, recovery can happen anywhere between 12 weeks to a full year.
To promote a successful recovery, consider the following:
- Consider Using Ice or Heat for Pain Relief: Ice or heat applications can help for short-term pain relief — especially following the first few days after surgery.
- Utilize Rehabilitation: For many patients, a postoperative rehabilitation program will be prescribed by a doctor. Make sure to take advantage of rehab by actively participating in your sessions and stretching regularly.
- Sleep Comfortably: Proper sleep can play a role in how long recovery takes. Generally speaking, the best sleep position to consider is the one you feel most comfortable in. Some sleeping positions to consider include lying face up or elevating the upper back with a pillow.
Consider Making an Appointment with a Back Pain Specialist
No matter what the source of your back pain, Dr. Branko PRPA M.D. is ready to help you face it. We offer a wide range of surgical options, and we’re prepared to help patients with many types of ailments, from complex spinal deformities to spinal tumors.
We can also let you know how to prepare for your back surgery and ensure that you’ll be getting on that road to recovery sooner rather than later. Consider making an appointment with Branko PRPA M.D.—Milwaukee’s top spine surgeon.