Monday, July 10, 2017

Preparing for Back & Neck Surgery

You’ve made the decision, with plenty of input from your medical team and doctor. It’s time for back or neck surgery, but chances are that you may be worried. It’s only natural to be concerned, especially if you don’t have a history of surgery. While this is natural, there’s no reason for you to stay that way. The best thing you can do to alleviate your fears is start preparing now, both physically and mentally, for your surgery. In addition to making you feel better, proper preparation is an important part of ensuring a smooth recovery. Breaking the process down into different sections will help make things easier.


Preparing Mentally

Your best weapon when it comes to fighting fear about back, neck, or any other surgery is education. For example, when it comes to treating cervical nerve compression, there are two main surgical options: traditional open spine surgery and minimally invasive procedures. These minimal procedures generally are performed through a small incision, with no muscle disruption. This is only one condition out of the many that can affect the back and neck, so it’s important to know what is going on.

Interestingly enough, though, this doesn’t apply to everyone. In fact, some people, known as “blunters” may actually do worse with an overabundance of information. For people like these, it may be important to put together a support network of friends and family to help handle some of the information and logistics of preparing for surgery (more on this later). In fact, some level of support is a good idea, no matter how you are approaching the surgery.

The good news, if you want as much information as possible, is that we live in a time where there is more accessible information than ever. The bad news is that it can be difficult to tell what is applicable to your situation. To circumvent this, be sure to choose your sources wisely when it comes to incorporate tips into your preparation. Good places to start are from formal medical sources or reputable industry organizations like Back Pain Centers. When in doubt, run the advice you read by your medical professional of choice to get their input.


Preparing Physically

Depending on your own health, the nature of your condition, and the procedure that you go through, you will likely have a limited capacity of motion and energy following your surgery. This is often especially the case with surgery on the neck and the back. As a result, you want to be prepared physically and logistically for your recovery before you go under the knife.

For starters, if you know your mobility will be hindered for a while, there are several things you can buy to help out, such as toilet risers or grabbers so you won’t have to bend over. It may also be a good idea to rearrange certain items in your home to minimize the amount of reaching or waist movement you have to do. Some call it “recover-proofing.” Another good idea is prepping meals in advance and freezing them. This means you don’t have to cook or over rely on junk food or delivery, if you don’t have someone available to cook for you. Of course, there is the logistical piece of recovery as well. Be sure to give your workplace and other commitments plenty of advance notice, so both of you can make this time as peaceful and smooth as possible. Being stressed about work does not make for good habits during your recovery.


What To Do Afterwards

After surgery, if you have prepared well, you won’t have too many surprises to worry about, but there are some things you can implement to make things a bit easier for you. A lot of this is just keeping to the instructions your medical professional gives you and keeping to good lifestyle habits. These include getting regular adequate sleep, keeping hydrated, and holding back on refined sugars. In addition, some may recommend that you consume higher levels of protein, as the body needs it to heal.

Back and neck surgery has a wide variance of procedures, from duration to invasiveness to potential aftereffects. Knowing what to do and setting up your body for the smoothest recovery possible doesn’t just mean that you get back to work or your regular life quicker. It can also mean a better quality of life, considering how important back and neck health are. Be sure to use some of the tips here and not be afraid to ask questions to put yourself at ease before and after your procedure.

1 comment:

  1. I had back surgery in Dec of 2015. It was the hardest thing that I have ever been through in my life. Before having the surgery, I did my research and most of the things that I read said that it was a painful surgery. I went in that day nervous but hopeful that it would help. After waking up from surgery, the pain was intense especially those first few hours. Staying on top of your pain is critical to keeping your pain under control. I remember those first two weeks were a blur but over time the pain slowly subsided. Back or neck surgery is a major surgery and I won't lie it is painful. It is also possible that the surgery itself won't relieve the constant pain but that doesn't mean that the surgery wasn't successful or helpful. In my case, the surgery did its job. It stablized my spine. I still have chronic pain even after the surgery. :(

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