Back pain is today one of the most common problems being faced by millions of people. Stress and strain, along with the natural aging factor, is contributing to a rise in cases of back pain. While in most cases, traditional and conservative approaches such as applying heat, ice, and physical therapy, are quite effective in addressing the discomfort of back pain; in many cases, you might need surgery to address the issue of persisting back pain. If you have had surgery for back pain, then you would like to know how long it takes to recover and get back to your day-to-day activities. People having back surgery, always want to find out what is the fastest way to recover from back surgery. Today we take a look at some tips that can help you towards faster recovery from back surgery.

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The recovery process following back surgery begins much before you actually reach the recovery room. If you have followed everything that your doctor prescribed for pre-operative and post-operative care, then your recovery should not take much time. Following some of these steps will help your body be ready to help you heal faster.

What Is The Fastest Way To Recover From Back Surgery?

5 Ways To Recover Faster From Back Surgery:

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Have an Exercise Plan Ready

While you should not indulge in any aggressive exercises after undergoing back surgery, you should still realize that exercising is the best way to help decrease your back pain, boost blood circulation after the back pain surgery, and also make you feel better. Exercise also enhances your mood. Work together with a physical therapist to come up with an exercise plan that has a combination of low-impact aerobic activity, strengthening exercises, and stretching exercises. Orthopedic doctors also frequently advice that you should maintain a healthy weight as being overweight or obese adds further stress on your spine.

The role of physical therapy has a lot of importance after your back surgery. Post-surgery, physical therapy is designed to allow your body to reach an optimal recovery, but the process can be difficult as you will need to really push your body to follow all your therapist's instructions as much as possible. By doing this, you will help in speeding up your recovery time significantly.

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Increase the Intake of Protein

Proteins are the building blocks of our muscles and bones. Therefore, it is no surprise that you need to increase the intake of proteins after you have undergone back surgery. Your body relies on amino acids for basic healing. Collagen in the body works to build the basic foundation for many of our structure. Collagen also is made up of amino acids and protein. Even the antibiotics that your doctor will prescribe after the surgery, to fight any post-operative infections, require protein to function properly.

This is why it is so important to increase your intake of protein after a back surgery to boost your healing time and recover quickly from back surgery.

Quit Smoking

If you are a smoker, then you should really consider giving up the habit if you want to ease your back pain and also recover faster from back surgery. Smoking causes your spine to degenerate at a faster rate, increasing back pain. Use the time you get before and after your surgery to give up smoking. Quitting smoking is the fastest way to recover from back surgery. Furthermore, smoking is really not a healthy habit and you need to cultivate healthy habits after any surgery. Even if you are unable to quit smoking, at least try to avoid smoking cigarettes during your recovery period from back surgery.

Nicotine is known to slow down the recovery rate and the rate at which your bones heal after any surgery. The last thing you want after back surgery is for something to slow down and hinder your recovery process.

Maintain a Proper Sleep Schedule

Sleep has a very important role to play in maintaining your overall health. You need to have a sufficient amount of sleep to ensure that you are recovering at a good pace.

However, after back surgery, it might be difficult to get a good amount of sleep due to all the discomfort you might be experiencing, but you still need to try to build a sleep schedule and follow it as much as possible. The key is to avoid sleeping in the day. Even if you feel yourself getting drowsy and about to drift off in the day, try and distract yourself with some activity. Avoiding sleeping in the day makes it easier for you to sleep better and uninterrupted in the night. Getting sound sleep by following a proper sleep schedule is the fastest way to recover from back surgery. When you sleep in the night, your body gets time to repair and heal, thus, helping speed up your recovery from back surgery.

Prepare Your Home Before Surgery

In the weeks before your surgery, take some time to prepare your home to make you feel at your comfortable best once you come back after getting the surgery done. This will also make your recovery time easier if you have everything in place and easily accessible. Keep in mind that once you return home after your back surgery, you will neither have the strength nor the ability to make any big changes to your immediate environment. Therefore, try putting in place the following ideas before you go for your back surgery:

  • Put the items that you use frequently within easy reach. After your back surgery, remember that you will not be able to bend down or lift anything heavy.
  • Clean your indoor walking area of clutter, any area rugs or carpets, or anything else that may potentially make you trip and fall.
  • Have a chair with armrests and a firm seat so that it is easy for you to get back up once you sit down. You should avoid chairs or any seating area that would make it difficult for you to stand back up.
  • Make sure that getting into and out of your bed is not a challenge. Avoid waterbeds at all cost post back surgery.
  • Make sure that your toilet arrangements are in place. Think about investing in a handrail or a toilet seat extension to help you stand properly post back surgery.
  • Have a non-slip mat in the shower or bathtub post back surgery.

Conclusion

A back surgery takes a lot out of a person. You have to be extremely careful during the post-operative period so that your recovery goes well and you are able to heal well within time. Your physical therapist will teach you certain basics that have to be followed once you get back home, such as how to turn in bed, how to sit down or sit up, and some other directions. Make it a point to follow these basic mobility instructions so that you do not cause any additional damage to your back. Most importantly, remember the key point - no BLTs (bending, lifting, twisting or even squatting).

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 5, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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