Staying Active After Lumbar Disc Surgery
Although your first instinct after you undergo lumbar disc surgery may be to rest in bed for several days, it is important to resist the urge to become immobile. After your procedure, both the surgeon and a physical therapist will explain to you the importance of maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle to assist in the rehabilitation process.
The lower back plays an integral role in all of our body’s movements and a sedentary existence could greatly hinder its ability to stay strong and agile, especially after surgery when the body is naturally weaker. Risks of immobility include blood clots, decreased circulation, muscle weakness, joint stiffness, decreased flexibility, and a lowered immune system. Believe it or not, these factors could ultimately mean the difference between a successful surgery and an unsuccessful surgery.
If you get clearance from your doctor, you can use the following tips to help you ease back into an active lifestyle after lumbar disc surgery:
- Soon after surgery, get up and start walking. Movement tells your body that it’s time to start healing and returning to normal levels of functionality. Even stationary movements like arm circles, leg lifts, or upper body stretches can prevent abnormal stiffness in the joints.
- The week after surgery return to a few of the less rigorous activities that you previously enjoyed, such as gardening, walking around the block, or meditation, if possible. A light back brace can help stabilize your spine while you ease back into a fitness regimen.
- Stay faithful to a healthy diet that you have designed with your physician. Foods that are low in fat and high in fiber have important healing properties for the body. Maintaining a moderate weight will also help keep undue stress off of the spine. Avoid nicotine and alcohol at all costs.
- A month after surgery, return to your normal, active lifestyle, if possible. You can even introduce new types of low-impact exercises that your doctor has suggested, such as hiking or yoga.
Keep in mind that the period after lumbar disc surgery is just as important, if not more important, than the surgery itself. Additionally, choosing a surgical option that will offer expedited recovery periods will help you regain your active lifestyle even faster. Minimally invasive procedures, which use small incisions and cause no damage to surrounding tissues, offer a welcome alternative to the highly invasive techniques of traditional operations.
If you would like more information about minimally invasive, endoscopic spine procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute (LSI) today. Our surgical team will review your MRI or CT scan, completely free of charge, and then discuss the variety of disc pain relief options that are available to you.