Severe back pain is the number-one cause of work absenteeism worldwide – it is a truly debilitating condition. In the U.S., almost 20% of adults report having a recent episode of back pain, particularly in the lower back.
If you are able to have surgery to alleviate your back pain, you may be curious about what to expect after the operation. Let’s talk about what the recuperation process is like after having back surgery, and where you can go here in Southeast Michigan for superior spine care and back pain relief.
What Is Recovery Like After Back Surgery?
The length of time your post-op recovery will take depends on how severe your condition was before the back surgery, how physically fit you are, and your specific type of surgery. Some patients need two or three months to recover, whereas others need a year to fully recuperate.
A huge factor that plays into recovery from back surgery is how closely you follow the directions given to you by your back surgeon and your physical therapist (PT). You will need to limit or avoid certain activities and movements that would hamper your rehabilitation or undo what was done in the surgery.
Basic Care Instructions After a Back Operation
Post-operation, your surgeon will likely prescribe a medication to quell any pain. They will also give you a written list of instructions on how to take care of your surgical wound until it heals.
Here are some basic recommendations for you to follow after back surgery to help your back heal:
- Try not to sit in one place for more than 45 minutes at a time.
- Take short walks regularly.
- Perform the easy and light exercises daily that your physical therapist teaches you.
- Do not engage in any strenuous activities that can put stress on your back.
- Eat nutritious foods and maintain a balanced diet.
- Follow your surgeon’s recommendations regarding taking prescription medication.
- Wait until your doctor gives you the all-clear before lifting heavy objects.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help from your friends and loved ones whenever necessary.
Physical Therapy After Back Surgery
Your spine surgeon will order professional medical assistance for your recovery by a physical therapist to help you restore motion and flexibility in your lower back.
The goal of physical therapy is to help you:
- Regain and maintain proper posture
- Regain flexibility and motion of the spine
- Strengthen your back muscles
Your physical therapist will show you how to perform various simple exercises and stretches. They will explain how often you should ideally perform these exercises, and they will likely recommend that you continue performing the exercises and stretches at home on a regular basis in order to keep your back and spine strong.
If there are any exercises or stretches that you do not like, have your therapist show you alternative ones – there are many therapeutic options for your back. If you ever notice any unusual back pain, contact your surgeon.
Learning How to Use Assistive Devices to Walk Again
Your physical therapist will teach you how to safely use these devices. They may include a walker, cane, and crutches, all of which will help stabilize you while walking so that you don’t put unnecessary pressure on your lower back.
Back Pain Relief in Rochester Hills, Michigan
Here at Ahlgren Spine, we provide optimum orthopedic care to successfully treat your back condition and restore your active lifestyle. Spine surgeon Dr. Bradley Ahlgren is here to provide outstanding spine care and to ensure that you have the best results from back surgery.
We have offices located in Rochester Hills, Bad Axe, and Royal Oak for your convenience. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call our friendly staff today at (248) 215-8080 or request an appointment now via our online form. We look forward to helping you achieve back pain relief that lasts!