Pain Management Before and After Back Surgery

A physician talks with a patient

Back surgery often involves extensive dissection of subcutaneous tissues, muscle, bones, and ligaments. Although recovery after back surgery may be painful for some time, the procedure should leave them with less discomfort than they experienced before. Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics, serving patients throughout northern New Jersey, outlines some pain management strategies for before and after back surgery to help patients experience greater relief.

Back Pain Treatments

Back pain has many causes. Whether it occurs because of advanced age or stems from a condition such as spinal stenosis or a herniated or bulging disc, one aspect remains the same — the issue leaves sufferers with a significant amount of discomfort. Before taking the route toward surgery for back pain, individuals often attempt alternative treatments to manage the pain. If these options are unsuccessful, a physician may say that spine surgery is the best choice. Although postoperative discomfort is almost inevitable, there are steps patients can take to mitigate this side effect, including:

Pain Management Before Back Surgery

People interested in non-surgical back pain treatments and those looking for relief while awaiting back surgery may consider managing pain through the following methods:

  • Physical therapy: Working with a specialized physical therapist to retrain posture, test limits and pain tolerance, stretch muscles, and strengthen the core may help manage back pain.
  • Visiting a rehabilitation psychologist: Chronic back pain can affect individuals physically and emotionally. Attempting rehab psychology through practices such as meditation, yoga, and other cognitive and relaxation strategies may keep the mind off the pain.
  • Eating an anti-inflammatory diet: Reducing the intake of foods high in trans fats and refined sugars may ease back pain. It also might reduce inflammation in the spine and surrounding areas.
  • Medication and injections: Speaking with a physician about anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and other medications may be helpful for some individuals. Injection-based treatments, such as nerve blocks, nerve ablations, and epidural steroids also aid in managing and reducing pain.

Pain Management After Back Surgery

While spine surgery is a treatment on its own, the recovery process might entail acute pain. To best manage the pain while recovering from spine surgery, consider implementing the following mitigation strategies:

  • Adhere to medication instructions: Most outpatients will receive prescription medications after surgery for managing different symptoms. Be sure to observe the directions the physician gives for the dosage to avoid unnecessary complications.
  • Move carefully: Outpatients must get plenty of rest, and when they do move around, they should seek assistance if needed and be careful not to exert themselves too much.
  • Consider long-term treatments: To assist with any discomfort following spine surgery, some individuals may choose to get massages, acupuncture, electrical nerve stimulation, or physical therapy.

It is also important to avoid sitting, lying down, or remaining in one position for too long directly after the surgery as it may increase the pain. Outpatients should also stay away from twisting and bending, as well as lifting any objects weighing over 5 pounds.

Receive Treatment and Pain Management Guidance for Back Surgery  

Back surgery comes in many shapes and forms, and the resulting pain looks different for each patient. Each procedure differs in recovery time, as it depends on the age, health, and severity of the individual’s condition. In all cases, finding the best treatment options and pain management techniques and having a speedy recovery after surgery are crucial for the best outcome.

 At Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics, the dedicated surgical and non-surgical team understands how neck, back, and sciatica problems impact daily life. Whether a patient has a short recovery of just 6 weeks or an intensified recovery time closer to a year, Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics provides comprehensive and coordinated care to all patients, empowering them to lead a healthier and less painful life.

Those seeking a reliable, professional, and specialized clinic for back pain in northern New Jersey, should look no further than Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics. For additional information on back surgery pain management or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

Centers for Neurosurgery Spine & Orthopedics
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