Your actions following your back surgery play a big part in your rate of recovery. You might be tempted to use alcohol and other drugs to alleviate your pain after your operation. However, this is a grave mistake that will likely cost you in the end. Let's take a look at the do's and don'ts of back surgery recovery.
Avoid Self-Medicating With Alcohol and Drugs
Alcohol certainly relaxes the muscles, but it can cause all sorts of other problems. It is addictive, dehydrates the body and is simply not compatible with proper medications.
Don't take the easy route and drink away your pain. There are plenty of safer pain relief choices available. Consuming alcohol in the aftermath of your back surgery even has the potential to cause a fatal overdose as it does not interact well with narcotic pain medications.
Alcohol combined with Tylenol can cause liver failure and/or stomach bleeding. If you take antidepressants after your back surgery, you should be aware that using them with alcohol has the potential to make you sleepy or even worsen your depression.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Those who are overweight will find that the excess body mass puts a nasty strain on the body's weight bearing structures. You can alleviate the pressure placed on the discs in your lower back by attaining a weight that is acceptable for your body frame. Consume healthy foods to shed weight and quick-start the healing process.
Put That Cigarette Down
Science has proven that smoking cigarettes contributes to back pain. If you consume any form of nicotine in the aftermath of your back surgery, it will hamper the healing process. This fact rings even more true for patients who undergo a fusion. Studies have shown that nicotine prevents the bone growth that is necessary for a solid fusion.
Mind Your Seating Arrangements
The manner in which you sit is extremely important, especially after enduring a back surgery. Remain hyper-aware of your posture as you sit. Ergonomic chairs and lumbar support will provide ample support so there is not an excessive strain on your spine and back muscles. Mind the ergonomics of your seating arrangements and you will drastically increase the odds that your spine stays properly aligned.
Get Up and Move Around
It is quite tempting to stay seated in the days and weeks following your back surgery. Don't give in to this temptation! Excessive sitting puts a strain on the lower portion of the back as it is challenging to achieve the proper posture when seated for such a lengthy period of time. You will also find that it is extremely uncomfortable to remain seated for an excessive period of time in the first couple of weeks after your back surgery. So get up and move around or, at least, alter your position a few times every hour.
If you have any questions regarding minimally invasive back surgery and how to ease your recovery, Capital City Neurosurgery can help. Our neurosurgeon, Dr. Kelly Kiehm, will shed light on healthy habits that will speed up your recovery from a minimally invasive spinal surgery. Contact us today by calling 614-300-1105.