Whether you are having minimally invasive spine surgery to fix a herniated disc, scoliosis, or anything else, it can be a bit nerve-wracking to think about the procedure and the recovery as well. One of the best things that you can do to prepare for surgery is to know what you can anticipate in regards to your recovery. Here are five things for you to keep in mind.
It may seem counterintuitive to move around after you have had spine surgery, but the more you move, the easier it will be for your body to heal in the long run. While you don't want to do anything strenuous or overdo it, going on walks every day or even doing some small yoga movements can help you ease pain and get back into normal life a lot quicker. If you are experiencing worsening pain when you are moving, make sure to reach out to your provider.
2. Keep All Your Follow-Up Appointments
While you may be feeling like a superhero after recovery and you may think that you can skip any and all follow-up appointments, it's best to keep them — no matter how well you feel. During each appointment, your doctor will check on your progress and any incisions to ensure that you are healing in the best way possible.
3. Go to Physical Therapy
Physical therapy appointments might be your life after surgery, but remember that the more work you put in upfront, the better your results will be. Make sure that you go to every physical therapy appointment and that you focus while there. While physical therapy can be a bit painful or uncomfortable at first, you will see a lot of progress as long as you continue practicing your exercises both with your therapist and when you are at home.
4. Rest When Needed
Yes, moving and physical therapy are going to help give you strength, but make sure that you take some time to rest as well. Getting plenty of sleep will help increase your body's immunities which will help you heal faster. Using a firm pillow between your legs when sleeping on your side may help to align your vertebrae and take some pressure off your back.
5. Wear Your Back Brace
If your surgeon recommends a back brace during your recovery, make sure you are consistent in wearing it. Your back brace can help with vertebrae alignment and it can also help to make sure you aren't straining anything while you are moving.