We want you to get back to life as normal, as soon as possible.
- Drink lots of water – Staying hydrated will not only help your tissues heal better but will also help with constipation. It is not uncommon to find people who forget to drink water after surgery!
- Eat healthy – This one might feel like a no-brainer, but it needs to be said. Avoid fatty/greasy and spicy foods after surgery as this can make you feel more nauseous. Eat lots of vegetables and fruit as this fiber will help with constipation. Avoiding excessive sugar intake is also recommended, as individuals with higher blood glucose levels are known to be slower healers. Consuming healthier foods will give you the nutrients your body needs to recover.
- Walk – particularly after our spine surgeries, walking will help improve your recovery. A prolonged sitting position will put more weight and pressure on the lumbar spine and subsequently increase your pain. We also encourage walking to prevent any blood clots from developing after surgery. In addition, getting up to walk and move will help with constipation. Do you see a common theme here with constipation?!
- Know when to stop – there is no benefit in pushing yourself to or beyond your limit. If your activity level is causing significant pain, that is an inappropriate level of activity. Slowly and cautiously increase your activity as tolerated once cleared by our team. Use the first two weeks after surgery to truly rest and rejuvenate. Summary – if it is hurting you, stop!
- Smart Pain Management – our team will prescribe medicine for pain as well as something for muscle relaxation. Your post-operative pain is most commonly at its greatest within the first 48 hours of surgery. We recommend not “falling behind” on your pain medications as this often leads to playing “catch up” with your pain control. We also recommend utilizing non-medication therapies, including ice and heat. While anti-inflammatory medications (Ibuprofen, Aleve, Advil) can certainly help your recovery, if you have had a spinal fusion, these medications have to be avoided for at least 3 months. We will ensure there is open communication with our team to prescribe the best medications to help you through your recovery.