Whether you are living with spinal stenosis or an injury that has damaged your lower back, surgery may be the most effective way to reduce pain and improve mobility. While surprising to learn, an estimated 500,000 Americans undergo surgery on their lower back each year. In most cases, surgery is effective, but following your surgeon's specific orders will be essential for a successful recovery. If you will be having back surgery in the near future, use this guide to prepare your home and health for a successful and efficient recovery.
In most cases, your surgeon will prescribe medications to help relieve your pain after the surgery. These medications should be taken as prescribed, so it is important to document each dosage to ensure you are not abusing the pain relievers. If you are still experiencing pain while taking the medications, consult your doctor immediately.
Other solutions to manage your pain may be beneficial, as well. Ice packs and heating pads are both helpful for improving blood circulation, which reduces inflammation and pain.
In addition, your surgeon may recommend other versions of hydrotherapy, such as relaxing in a hot shower and soaking in a Jacuzzi tub. Consider investing in a walk-in Jacuzzi tub for your home before surgery. Hydrotherapy has been proven to reduce physical and emotional tension, improve blood circulation, boost the immune system, and rehabilitate muscles and joints all while relieving the pain and stiffness you may be feeling after your back surgery.
A walk-in tub allows you to bathe (and relax) without the help of others. Installing a walk in tub with the right features mean you can independently care for yourself without the worry or pain of moving your back awkwardly after surgery. Contact a company like TwinCity Stairlifts to learn more about tub and shower options.
Equipping your home with safety aids is also smart to reduce the risk of falls after your surgery. Also, using safety aids will reduce discomfort and stiffness that you may experience while completing everyday tasks.
For example, you can enhance your walk-in tub and shower area with a few safety aids. Safety bars along the wall of your tub will help you get in and out without slipping. Purchase a shower stool to place in your tub, as well. This will allow you a sturdy and comfortable place to rest while bathing in your walk-in tub after surgery. Be sure the stool has rubber pads on the bottom of the feet, which will keep you balanced safely while showering and bathing. If you'll be in a wheelchair following surgery, you can install a shower that's accessible from your chair.
A toilet riser is also a great investment. This rounded contraption fits over your toilet seat, allowing you to sit on and get off the toilet without bending your back too far down.
Lastly, consider supportive cushions for your bed and favorite chair. A wedge cushion is ideal for your bed, since it supports your back by elevating it slightly when resting in bed. A lumbar support cushion for your chair will also reduce the amount of stress your back experiences while sitting in a chair.
Exercise is also a key part in a painless recovery after back surgery, but you should not attempt any exercises on your own. Your surgeon will advise you to schedule sessions with a physical therapist to help you recover in a safe and effective manner.
A physical therapist will design exercises based on your specific needs. These exercises will be used to regain strength and improve stability after your back surgery. Exercise therapy will strengthen muscles in the incision area and muscles and connective tissue surrounding the spine, which will increase blood flow, improve flexibility, and reduce pain in the back.
Various types of exercise will most likely be used during your physical therapy session. Yoga and swimming are great options, since they are low-impact and do not place excess stress on the back and muscles.
Walking with and without an assistive device, such as a cane, crutches, or a walker, will also be recommended. Lifting weights may also be used to improve strength and endurance after your surgery. Over time, heavier weights will be added to your exercise sessions.
Surgery on your back should be taken seriously if you want to have a successful and short recovery. By preparing yourself with these must-haves, you will experience less pain and stress during your recovery.