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If you are thinking about going to a back surgery, you should know some important things about it. My advice to you is that you shall try every kind of exercises to relieve the pain. Most of the back pain can be relieved without surgery. Also, there are no guarantees that back surgery will help you with pain.
Researches show that 20 to 40 percent of back surgeries did not help with back pain. This is also know as failed back surgery syndrome.
There are somebody conditions when back surgery is necessary option to treat serious musculoskeletal injuries or nerve compression. A pain management specialist can help you decide whether surgery is an appropriate choice after making sure you have exhausted all other options.
If you want to try other methods before surgery, check out our The Back Pain Breakthrough Program Review.
Different Types of Back Surgery
There are three basic types of back surgery:
Laminectomy is a type of back surgery where surgeon is removing the back part of the bone (called the lamina) over the spinal column. A laminectomy is performed to relieve nerve root compression (pinhed nerve) on one or more nerve roots in the spinal column.
The compressed nerve root often causes back and leg pain. A segment of the entire lamina can be removed to relieve pressure on a nerve.
This procedure is used to remove a disk when it has herniated and presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord. Laminectomy and discectomy are frequently performed together.
Spinal fusion involves the permanent fusion of two or more vertebrae for more stability, to correct a deformity or to relieve a pain. The surgeon will harvest small pieces of bone from your hip or pelvic bone and place them between the vertebrae. In many cases they will use wires, rods, screws, metal cages or plates to provide immediate stability.
Risks of Back Surgery
Back surgery can carry higher risks than some other types of surgery because it is done closer to the nervous system. The most serious of these risks include paralysis and infections.
Even with a successful surgery, the recovery time can be long. Depending on the type of surgery and your condition before the surgery, healing may take months. And you may lose some flexibility permanently.
Maybe this does not belong to this group, but I will put it here. With all these risks written, after back surgery you will have a lot of benefits. Benefits of back surgery are:
- Moving around better
- More physically fit
- Improved mood
- No need for taking a lot of pain medicine
- Possibility to drive back from work
- Being more productive on work
Pain After Back Surgery
Back surgery can cause a high degree of post-operative pain. You should consider different options for pain relief in the days and weeks after surgical operation. You should discuss this options with your surgeon who can explain each option or combination of them, including their effectiveness, potential side effects, potential for addiction and impact on the recovery process.
Together with drinking pills for stress relief, you should be doing breathing exercises because pain medics can slow down your breathing. That can clog airways and cause infections.
Back Surgery Recovery Time
You can stay in hospital from 1 to 3 days. Sometimes even more if you had spinal fusion type of back surgery. Rest is important, but you need to get out of bed as soon as possible.
After few days in hospital, you are going home to continue back rehab. After around 6 weeks you should start feeling much better. Don’t worry about time that will pass until you recover. Some people start going to job after just 3 weeks, but that is not what I would suggest you.
2 to 3 months after back surgery, you should rehab completely. Of course, even after that period when you will be completely rehabilitated, watch out on your back and don’t lift heavy things for a few more months. Strengthen your muscles first and let back heal even more.
Back Recovery Equipment and Supplements
During your rehab period, you will need a lot of equipment to recover. Most of the equipment is that you can do normal tasks easier during the day so we will mention them as well. Further, we will write you some advises on dietary supplements you can use to improve your back rehab.
Equipment to consider for back rehab
- Back brace
- Folding shower bench
- Chair with arms
- Raised toilet seat
- Elastic shoelaces
- Slip-on shoes
- Reachers for socks
Supplements for better back recovery
- Omega 3-fatty acids
Best Exercises After Back Surgery
There is a lot of different exercises which can improve your back recovery time. The most important thing is that you follow your physical therapist instructions. For now, we will cover only the most important and easy ones that you can do at home. You need to bi consistent with your training, but remember, do not over train your body. You need to rest very much because of your surgery. We don’t want you to make things even worst with practicing.
Alternate knees to chest
Lying with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
Lift one knee towards your chest. Place your hands behind the knee and draw it in your chest.
Crook lying, legs side to side
Lying on your bed with your knees together and bent.
Slowly roll your knees from side to side, keeping your upper trunk still.
Sitting pelvic tilt
Sit on a stool and practice good posture:
First let your backdrop and get rounded, then use your back muscles to straighten your back and arch it (not too much).
Hold for cca 1-2 minutes.
Left and right side bend
Bend sideways at the waist.
The Best Foods to Speed Up Back Recovery
We should always eat healthy and care about our body. But when it comes to time after surgery, we need to eat even more healthy than usual. Remember, we want to reduce recovery time and heal our body.
- Fats (nuts, oils, fish)
- Dark leafy greens
- Meat or other alternatives (because of protein)
- Brightly colored fruits
- Whole grains
- Water – THE MOST IMPORTANT.
These are only our recommendations for your post surgery rehabilitation. You are not obligated to use all or any of them. We just recommend you things that we think may help you the best with your surgery recovery.