A spinal compression injury can be very severe, with pain and mobility issues the most obvious side effects. The risk for long-term damage is great if you don't have surgery to correct the issue. Fortunately, surgery is effective and recovery rates are generally good afterward. The following tips can further help you with your recovery:
Tip #1: Clear your schedule
The most important thing following any procedure, particularly back surgery, is to rest. Recovery can take several weeks to a few months, depending on your age and overall health. Your doctor will provide you with a specific recovery estimated based upon your medical history. During the first few weeks plan to stay home for the recovery. Once your doctor clears you for light duty, you can return to work if you don't have a physical job or one that requires that you are on your feet all day.
Tip #2: Wear your brace
A back brace is often issued to help with recovery. The purpose of the brace is to provide additional support to take pressure off the healing spine. It may also be designed to correct any posture issues that developed because of the compression. Braces aren't always the most comfortable or fashionable items, but it's important that you wear it as prescribed if you want to heal properly.
Tip #3: Take your pain meds
Recovery from spinal compression surgery is no time to try and be tough. Your doctor prescribes pain medications not just to increase your comfort, but to help with healing. When you are in pain, your muscles are tense and this can interfere with the proper healing of your spine. If you are concerned about the types of pain medications prescribed, discuss alternatives with your doctor, but don't simply refuse all pain treatments.
Tip #4: Follow through on therapy
Another important component of your recovery will be physical therapy. A therapist will work you through exercises that will help you rebuild lost strength in your back muscles as well as increasing your comfortable range of motion post-surgery. Therapy can sometimes be uncomfortable at first, but don't give up – it is far more uncomfortable to have permanently limited mobility due to skipping physical therapy. If therapy is causing severe discomfort, discuss it with your therapist. They can adjust your plan so it is less physically demanding but still beneficial.
For more help, talk to a spinal compression center like Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates in your area.