14 Jun 6 Ways to Speed Up Recovery from Spinal Surgery
Chronic low back pain, limited mobility, tingling, and numbness in the extremities are all reasons why patients seek out help from a spinal surgeon. Spinal surgery promises to reduce pain, bring life back to tingling or numb limbs, and increase mobility. Patients go into spinal surgery with high hopes and expectations that can take months or even years to achieve. But though surgeons are responsible for doing the “fixing”, patients are responsible for their healing. Most patients are eager to get back to normal and start living their lives pain-free again one day. Below are six ways to speed up the recovery process from spinal surgery and hasten the progress in a healthy way:
- Eat Healthy Food – These days, it’s getting harder and harder to find healthy foods and if you’ve recently had spinal surgery, eating healthy can be a serious challenge. Generally speaking, the healthiest things you can eat are fresh fruits and vegetables that have been cooked and prepared at home. This can present difficulties for spinal surgery patients who’ve been recently released from the hospital. But consider asking a friend or family member to cook for you during those first two weeks of recovery until you could conceivably do it yourself. Fresh fruit smoothies and steamed veggies are easy to eat and prepare and they offer plenty of nutrients to help your body recovery more quickly. Avoid refined sugars that can diminish your immunity and choose sea salt rather than refined salt to obtain trace minerals that might be lacking from your diet.
- Exercise BEFORE Surgery – If you don’t already work-out on a regular basis, the months or weeks leading up to spinal surgery is a good time to start (with your doctor’s approval, of course). Exercise will help increase the circulation in your body, including circulation to the body parts that will be surgically altered. Even a small amount of exercise in the swimming pool or on a recumbent bike can have a profound effect on recovery time. If you’re committed to a short recovery period, it would behoove you to take a few walks before the date of your surgery.
- Quit Smoking – Smoking reduces the circulation in your body which is bad for people who’re undergoing surgery. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a smoker, if you’re undergoing back surgery, it’s time to quit! Your body will immediately start purging tar from your lungs and the health effects of dropping the habit will make a big impact on your overall recovery speed.
- Avoid Alcohol – Alcohol dehydrates the body which is undesirable during and after surgery. Every chemical reaction in the body takes place in water, so dehydrated tissues are compromised. It’s best to avoid alcohol and instead drink clear fluids like decaffeinated tea and water for four to five days leading up to surgery.
- Watch for Signs of Infection or Blood Clots – After surgery, keep a watchful eye on your incision for signs of infection or blood clots and head to the doctor immediately if you see anything suspicious cropping up. Both can impede the recovery process and it’s best to catch them early if you’re hoping to stay on track and recover fully in six months or less.