During recovery from back surgery after receiving one or more artificial discs, the healing phase begins. This procedure requires specific recovery strategies after getting discharged from the hospital.
With this in mind, here are some tips on how you can recover after back surgery involving artificial discs.
Take Pain Medication
Your doctor will most likely prescribe pain medications to manage your postoperative pain. These medications may include over-the-counter pain medicine, narcotic painkillers, and muscle relaxants.
Take note, however, that this approach won’t entirely eliminate the pain that you are feeling. It will mask it for a while, but the pain will most likely return after your body has fully metabolized the medication.
Engage in Physical Therapy
After a procedure like this, doctors usually advise their patients to take part in physical therapy to help strengthen the body. This approach helps the body to harness nutrients and oxygen optimally while maintaining healthy circulation to quicken the healing process.
The best program under physical therapy includes strengthening, stretching, and aerobic exercises tailored to the affected site. Walking is also an effective postoperative technique. To avoid any painful side effects, start with several short walks on your first days, then gradually increase it to consistent long walks.
Take note, however, that you still need to avoid any jarring motions and activities after the surgery. Your physical therapist (PT) will give you a program that is specially tailored for your needs.
Ensure Proper Hydration and a Healthy Diet
During the recovery stage after disc surgery, your body will need plenty of the essential vitamins and minerals, and your blood will need to be properly oxygenated. Staying healthy will foster excellent blood flow and will deliver vital nutrients to the affected sites – thus helping your spinal discs and surrounding structures to heal.
Munch on fruits and veggies as snacks while you recover from back surgery, and always stay hydrated by having water by your side at all times. Staying adequately hydrated will help fight off inflammation and will encourage your body to recover fully.
Apply Heat or Ice Therapy
Another way to reduce postoperative pain during the recovery phase is to apply heat or ice therapy. Ice and cold therapy is known for its ability to reduce inflammation that leads to pain, while heat is recommended to stifle muscle spasms and assist in relaxing muscle tension.
Heat therapy increases blood flow and alleviates stiffness, whereas cold therapy slows down blood flow and reduces swelling. Your therapist will explain when to use which type of therapy on your back.
Wear a Back Brace
Your spine surgeon may prescribe that you wear a light back brace for 3 to 6 weeks following the surgery. This will help to limit your movements which could otherwise cause damage to the affected area while it heals. A back brace also helps to improve your posture by redistributing your weight and keeping your back straight.
Artificial Disc Replacement Surgeon in Colorado Springs
Recovery from receiving artificial discs in your back generally takes several months. Just be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions and your physical therapist’s guidelines for a safe and fast recovery time.
If you want to know more about artificial disc replacement and back surgery, contact us today at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery in Colorado. We provide our patients with advanced care and treatment tailored for your complete recovery.
You may reach out to us by calling (303) 790-1800 or by filling out our online form to request an appointment. We look forward to seeing you here.