Back pain is the number one reason why people go to the doctor. In fact, about 80 percent of Americans experience back pain, especially lower back pain, in their lifetimes. And worse still is that anyone can develop a back pain, irrespective of age, race or gender.
Minimally invasive back surgery is recommended by doctors as the step before more drastic measures. For many medical conditions, minimally invasive back surgery is the best recourse to eliminate your back pain permanently. The doctors of spinal medicine at Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) are specially trained and experienced to ensure your surgery is successful, getting you back to your normal routines as soon as possible.
Before Minimally Invasive Back Surgery
To help you to recover quickly, you can do a few things yourself to make your body more resilient and quicker to heal:
- Go on a diet to lose a few pounds before the surgery.
- Quit sugary drinks and cut back on oily foods.
- Take up stretching and other forms of mild exercises, like yoga.
- Quit smoking and give up alcohol prior to your procedure.
Although your spine doctor performs an extensive medical history with you before the surgery, make sure you mention any diseases you have. Medical conditions like diabetes, blood pressure, allergy to anesthesia or hemophilia can all cause complications during a surgery.
Recovery Time from Surgery
Minimally invasive back surgery offers benefits you may not have considered. For example, you usually get to go home on the same day of the surgery. Unlike open spine surgery, minimally invasive surgery requires just a very small incision for the treatment. The nearby muscles and soft tissues of the spine remain intact, eliminating the need for longer recovery times.
After the procedure, however, you’ll feel sore as you move around for the first few days. Your doctor may prescribe a pain killer or suggest over-the-counter pain relievers for this short-term discomfort. Most people don’t need heavy doses of medication. The main precaution you need to take at home is to keep the surgical wound clean.
Getting Back on the Horse
You can return to work within two weeks or less, following minimally invasive back surgery. Just make sure you don’t lift heavy things or move with speed. Your spine specialist and rehab team at SSI provide you with a list of best practices to ensure a speedy and uneventful recovery.
You need to slow down your movements during recovery to prevent problems. Stretching exercises, as prescribed by your physical therapist at SSI, allow you to stretch your muscles while improving mobility. You may also need additional exercise therapy to build up your spine muscles, tighten your hamstrings, strengthen your core and build stamina.
Once you have your life back, you need to make sure back pain doesn’t return. Some tips for staying pain-free include:
- Continue doing your stretching exercises.
- Lift heavy things correctly.
- Remind yourself to correct your posture.
- If you’re overweight, go on a diet; every extra pound puts more pressure on your spine.
Swimming aerobics are also recommended, as the water cushions your spine while you move. Talk with your doctor at SSI for more advice on how to prevent back pain.