Post Back Surgery Must Haves

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Do your physicians advise you to have a back surgery for your condition? Is it going to be very soon? Preparing for your post-surgery ahead of time is really important so you have everything in control and set-up while you recover from your procedure. With everything planned and prepared may also help you increase the positive outcome of your recovery and healing.

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The following are the post-surgery essentials that you might want to consider as part of your surgery preparation.


  • Drinking plenty of water- During your recovery, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and fluids since this allows nutrients to flow properly to your body, helping you heal, especially with your joints, muscles, and organ maintenance. To know how much water you should drink every day, take your weight in pounds and divide it by two.  While water is essential and helpful to our bodies, it is important to keep in mind that drinking too much of it can cause more harm than good.
  • High Protein and Whole Foods- When you are trying to recover from your surgery, it is important to eliminate processed foods on your diet and replace it with high protein and whole foods instead such as beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, eggs, chicken breast, and salmon. Incorporate these foods as a part of your healthy, balanced diet.
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  • Foods that are High in Fiber- constipation during your post-surgery might not be a very best thing to have especially since this could be uncomfortable. To avoid and solve this problem, eat foods that are high in fiber for a smooth bowel flow. Avocados, pears, berries, broccoli, bananas, lentils, beans, papayas, and artichoke are some of the foods you can add to your meals. Studies have suggested that men should get at least 30-38 grams of fiber daily while women should try to get at least 20 to 25 grams for a healthy digestion  and bowel movement.
  • Pre-prepared food– if you can’t prepare your food while under recovery, you can consider buying a meal kit delivery service around your area that will deliver food for you door-to-door. Get food that is healthy-portioned to make sure you get the nutrients you need. Also, you can request for a friend or a family member to bring or prepare food for you. And if those mentioned are not possible, you can just prepare a whole big batch of food such as soup and just store it in your refrigerator before your surgery.

Medicine and Treatments for Pain Relief

  • Pain reliever medicine- When you are from a surgery, you will most likely be sent home with a prescription for pain medicine. Make sure to know all the instructions on how to take it to avoid overdosing. Also, you should know in advance who is going to fill your prescriptions once you’re home. They could be a family member or a friend that you trust the most.
  • Pill organizer- you are most likely to have plenty of different pills to help you recover from your surgery and this can be too much and confusing for you since you can be foggy after a surgery, so putting your pills in a pill organizer can make it easier. After your surgery, ask someone—a friend or a family member—to put all your pills in an organizer for you.
  • Ice packs and heating pads- heat and cold therapy can help you alleviate the pain you are experiencing. When you are going to do this, keep in mind that application should only last from at least 15-20 minutes and always allow your skin to breathe by taking 2-3 hours rest before another application.

Laxatives- since there is a chance of post-surgery constipation, consider taking a non-prescription laxative to help you with your constipation.


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  • Companions– ask someone, a friend or a family member, to drive you for your follow-up appointment check-ups with your doctor. Someone to drive you especially when you are under pain medication is important. Also, if you are better, ask for people close to you to visit you to catch up and talk. This can help you heal better.
  • Online sharing- You can join online sharing groups for additional information and emotional support for your healing. You can ask, share your experiences, and read other people’s healing stories for an additional motivation for your progress. 
  • Stay connected with your family and friends– staying connected to your loved ones is important especially since they will provide you most of the support you need while you are still healing. Texting, video chatting, and voice calling them while sharing them updates about your recovery could work.  

General Wellness Plan

  • Pain Doctor and/or Physical Therapist- when you are still in so much pain that you can’t bear anymore, make sure to call your doctor and/or any other healthcare professionals to help you. Research all the healthcare professionals in advance and make an appointment with them once you feel like you really need to see one.
  • Sleep. Cell regeneration and healing of your body are most likely to happen when you are sleeping and resting so it is important to make sure you get enough sleep especially after surgery. Invest in black curtains, sound machines, and a comfortable mattress and pillow to ensure your goodnight’s sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping however, ask your doctor (surgeon) if he/she can prescribe you a sleeping pill that is ok with all your other pills.
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  • Walks. Before and after your surgery, discuss to your doctor how soon you should start walking after the surgery. Walking increases energy and strength. It also speeds up your healing and your ability to go back to normal. When you want to start walking, consider starting with short walks and gradually work up to at least 10,000 steps each day.
  • Be patient. Every person has a different timeline of healing, so be patient and do not compare yourself with others. It is normal and okay to get frustrated but understand and appreciate your small wins (healing every day.) Relatedly, it is also important to have a good attitude by being grateful even for the littlest things. Pray, meditate, and show thankfulness to every circumstance in your life. 
  • Massage therapy- this can have an extreme help in your condition especially the healing process after your surgery. The therapist may be focusing on your feet and legs, however this may benefit your whole body since this releases tension which makes your body relaxed. 

Recovery plans are very important for successful recovery outcomes. You can consider the steps and advice above for a better recovery experience.


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