A person undergoing a spinal surgery requires a considerable amount of time to heal. The initial stages of healing require extra precautions and the patient may be required to shift positions frequently and not stand or sit for too long. Taking small walks initially and increasing the distance slowly is a good idea. Here are a few other important factors that every patient needs to follow to recover quickly.
MANAGING THE PAIN:
After the surgery, the patient will most likely have a lot of pain. Appropriate pain management will go a long way in aiding the recovery time of the patient. Narcotic painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly used. For patients who undergo a fusion surgery, NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) should be avoided because they inhibit the formation of bones which is necessary for the fusion of two bones. Frequent application of ice packs in the initial stages can also effectively manage the pain. Early application of heat packs can increase the blood flow to the area and cause swelling and an increase in pain, so the application of heat packs should be saved for later. Pain and stiffness will reduce if the patient tends to take short walks frequently.
LIFTING HEAVY WEIGHTS:
The patients are advised to avoid lifting heavy objects. Most doctors advise the patients to barely lift 4 kilograms for the first two weeks after the surgery. Lifting and bending while cooking and cleaning could be painful and the patients are advised to take rest. After two weeks, the patients can slowly start increasing their movements and return back to normal.
Getting continuous uninterrupted sleep soon after the surgery will aid the recovery process and reduce the healing time. The most important factor is the position at which the patient sleeps. The correct posture to sleep is to lie face up on the bed with pillows to elevate the upper back, shoulder and head region and pillows kept under the knees so that the hip and the knees are slightly bent. This posture reduces the strain and pressure on the back and will help in the quicker recovery of the patient.
EXERCISE FOR THE BACK:
The patients need to exercise and stretch the back slowly and carefully. Care should be taken so that the exercise does not aggravate the pain and cause further damage to the back. Seeking help from a physiotherapist is highly recommended and a careful regime should be followed. Apart from this, the continuous movement would aid the blood flow to the back. The restricting movement would cause stiffness in the back which would cause further complications. Yoga is also advised for the patients after two or three weeks to improve their back strength.
The patient can also use the support of a walking stick or cane to improve the balance and keep the back from handling too much pressure. Apart from this, using extra cushions on the bed or the sofa will make the patient feel more comfortable. Keep these in mind and follow while your body heads for a fast recovery.