Sleep Will Be Difficult
Because you need to allow your spine to heal properly for the weeks following your spinal surgery, consider investing in the kind of accessories you will need to sleep comfortably without disturbing your spinal alignment. This may involve additional pillows, inserts for your bed, or other items that help you remain still during sleep. While it may be uncomfortable or inconvenient, it will prevent a lifetime of damage that could be caused by improper healing.
NSAID Drugs May Be Off Limits
Depending on the type of spinal surgery you have, NSAID drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin may be something you need to avoid during your recovery. While reaching for over-the-counter pain relief may make sense, NSAID drugs inhibit the ability of the spine to form the tissue needed to complete a fusion or to heal properly from certain procedures. Your spine surgeon will have to prescribe other medications for pain management.
Ice and Heat Can Help
Since you can’t rely on some types of pain medication to help you cope with discomfort during your recovery, you’ll undoubtedly be wondering what other options you have. Ice packs and heating pads can help, but be sure to ask your surgeon or primary care provider to see which is best for you.
Rehab Isn’t Optional
When you’re recovering from your spinal surgery, you may not feel like doing much of anything – including participating in rehab exercises. However, these exercises exist to help your body recover and relearn the basics of movement that will be necessary to rebuild your strength and coordination. Don’t skip rehab if you want to recover fully.
You’ll Need to Ask for Help Sometimes
After any surgery, you will likely need to ask for help from family or friends in managing your everyday tasks while you recover. This is especially true after spinal surgery. Reach out for the help you need to prevent injury or loss of control of tasks like housework and paying bills.