If you need to undergo surgery of the spine to correct a health issue you're dealing with, it's important to avoid mistakes during recovery so that you heal properly and avoid chronic discomfort and complications down the road.
The following are six mistakes that it's important for you to avoid when you're recovering from spine surgery:
Being completely sedentary
While immediately after the procedure it will be necessary to rest for a few days, in the days and weeks following spinal surgery, it's a good idea to get at least a small amount of light activity each day.
Taking the time to walk and move around throughout the day while recovering can help to boost your circulation and avoid weight gain. It's better to get some gentle exercise like walking each day than to be completely inactive while you're recovering.
Continuing to smoke even after your procedure
It's important to stop smoking if you need to undergo spine surgery or any other type of surgery.
In the case of spine surgery, quitting smoking is especially important because smoking regularly can inhibit bone growth. Bone growth is essential to spine surgery recovery because spinal fusion needs to occur before recovery can be complete.
Attempting to do activities that involve twisting, bending, or lifting
While engaging in some gentle exercise or activity is important, recovering patients must avoid any activities that involve twisting, bending, or lifting while they're recovering from spine surgery.
You need to arrange for assistance while you're recovering to avoid any activities that will aggravate pain and discomfort at your surgery site.
If you have professional or personal responsibilities that involve engaging in this type of activity on a regular basis, you need to make arrangements to have someone else handle these responsibilities while you're recovering.
Neglecting to stretch out muscles of the back and abdomen
A lot of patients recount that they become very stiff in the back and abdomen while recovering from spine surgery. For this reason, it's typically a good idea to learn some good stretching exercises to perform on not only the back and abdomen, but also the hip to avoid stiffness.
Failing to achieve adequate protein intake
Taking in enough protein as part of your daily diet is always important, but it's especially important when you're recovering from spine surgery. Protein is not only important for muscles, but also for bones, tendons, and ligaments.
Another important effect of adequate protein intake is optimizing the condition of one's immune system. Immune system health is important for healing from any type of surgical procedure.
Letting yourself gain weight before or during your recovery period
Maintaining a healthy weight before surgery and while you're recovering wil minimize strain on your spine and thereby make healing easier.