Recovering from a back injury or back surgery is a difficult process, but if you go into it with realistic expectations for yourself, it will be more manageable. Don’t plan on being back to 100% activity level overnight. When it comes to recovery, slow and steady is the way to go.
Resume Activity Slowly
In the first few weeks after a back injury or back surgery, you will likely feel weak, tired, and sore. Don’t try to push yourself for a faster recovery. Pushing too hard can easily cause you to injure the area again, creating even worse damage and slowing down the recovery process. If you had back surgery, the incision site might be very sore at first. Many people also experience tingling or numbness in the limbs as a result of nerve interference, but this should go away soon as your nerves heal. As soon as you feel ready, start walking, because walking strengthens your back, leg, and neck muscles, and exercise of any kind is good for stress relief and building endurance. Again, don’t try to do too much too fast or you increase your risk of relapse. Take it slow, and build your way up to longer walks. Your doctor or physical therapist can work with you to develop a plan for resuming physical activity.
Even if you are walking without difficulty, exercise caution when it comes to other physical activities. Don’t try to carry groceries, walk the dog, or lift anything that weighs more than a few pounds at first. It’s better to ask for help and err on the side of caution than think you are well enough to do something yourself and re-injure your back. Recovering from a back injury is not a “no pain, no gain” situation. Pain is your body’s way of telling you to slow down. If you experience an elevated level of pain for more than a few hours after you’ve done a certain motion or activity, it probably means you aren’t ready for that yet. Take it easy and try again in a week or two if you feel ready.
Contact a Doctor When Necessary
While you will experience a certain amount of pain and discomfort during your recovery, be aware that certain symptoms may indicate something is wrong and that you need to call a doctor. Contact your doctor if you experience any swelling, increased redness, or drainage from your surgical site, as these can be signs of infection. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience difficulty breathing or problems controlling your bowels or bladder. Severe, persistent pain, weakness, or numbness is also a cause for concern. Don’t try to “tough it out” if you experience any of these symptoms. It might be nothing, but it’s better to let your doctor make that call.
Recovery is a process. It is better to allow yourself proper time to heal than struggle to get back on your feet right away only to cause further problems. With time and physical therapy, you’ll get back to normal activity soon enough. Utilize MedWell Solutions services for help with the recovery process and achieve better outcomes.
MedWell Solutions can help simplify the surgical recovery process and provide you with customizable instructions though CareScriptions platform. Instructions are available for your review with a click of a button, and you can easily communicate with your care team for further questions or concerns. Take charge of your own care and know your next steps to recovery. To speak with a professional about identifying practitioners who can help you maintain your back, neck, and spine health, contact us today.