If you recently underwent arthritis of the spine surgery, or are considering arthritis of the spine surgery because conservative treatment options aren’t controlling your pain, read our guide with tips for recovery so you can return to work and everyday activities after surgery.
Six tips for returning to work after arthritis of the spine surgery
- Follow your surgeon’s instructions. After minimally invasive spine surgery, you will return home with a specific set of instructions from your physician. Your postoperative guide will tell you activities you are allowed to participate in and activities to avoid. There will also be a timeline as to when you can resume certain activities as well.
- Give your body time to heal and recover. Even though minimally invasive spine surgery has a shorter recovery and rehabilitation period when compared to traditional open spine surgery, your body still needs time to heal and recover. Set realistic expectations according to your surgeon’s guidelines.
- Participate in physical therapy. Your surgeon will prescribe physical therapy a few weeks after surgery. A physical therapist will teach you targeted exercises and stretches to help regain your strength and tone the core muscles that support the spine.
- Avoid staying in one position for any extended period of time. Sitting or standing in one position for an extended period of time can put unnecessary stress and strain on the spine. Get up, stretch, walk around and change positions frequently throughout the day to avoid getting stiff and adding additional stress to the spine.
- Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein ensures that your body has the required vitamins and nutrients for healing. A healthy diet can also help to avoid inflammation in the body and other health problems.
- Make a plan for returning to work. Plan ahead to make your return to work as easy as possible. If you have a desk job, make sure you have an ergonomic chair. If you have a job that involves labor, see if there is any way to avoid heavy lifting and repetitive motions. Make plans to get up and walk around during the day to avoid sitting or standing in one position too long. Pack yourself a healthy lunch and try to maintain a healthy body weight.
Most patients who undergo minimally invasive spine surgery return to work and everyday activities within three months of surgery. Depending on the condition treated, the type of surgery performed, your overall health status and how closely you followed your physician’s postoperative instructions, the length of the recovery period can vary.