After spinal bone spur surgery, many people take several weeks or months off work to fully recover. And while the rehabilitation process is crucial, many people find themselves anxious to return to the office once they’ve been cleared to do so by their physician.
Sound familiar? If you’re starting to think about returning to work after spinal bone spur surgery, consider the following tips for easing your transition.
Tip one: talk to your company’s human resources department
Naturally, your first point of contact when you head back to work will be human resources. Call or email your HR manager (or equivalent) when you’re starting to make arrangements to find out what type of documentation and/or paperwork will be needed from you or your medical team. Your HR team can also help you plan a timeline for your return.
Tip two: consider easing back into your schedule
Going from full days at home to full days in the office can be a major transition — especially if you’re not quite sure how your body will respond. When you meet with HR, consider asking about a modified schedule (such as working half days or telecommuting a few days per week) to help ease back into work.
Tip three: plan ahead for your ongoing rehabilitation
Just because you’re headed back to work doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re fully recovered from spinal bone spur surgery. For many people, rehabilitation is an ongoing process. You may need to plan to attend physical or occupational therapy sessions in the evenings after work or use your lunch breaks to attend follow-up appointments with your physician.
Tip four: make smart modifications
While you’re still thinking about recovery, you’ll likely want to make minor modifications to your work environment or responsibilities so as not to hinder your progress. If you have a physically demanding job, ask your supervisor if you can exchange strenuous or weight-bearing activities for more administrative tasks. If you work in a traditional office setting, consider investing in an ergonomic chair or computer risers to help keep your neck and back more comfortable as you heal. For more information about the work-related modifications you should make after bone spur surgery, be sure to consult with your physician.
Tip five: have a support system in place
A long day at the office can be tiring for anyone, but if you’re still recovering from bone spur surgery, your first few weeks back at work may find you calling on friends and family members for support. To whatever extent possible, delegate housework or errands to others, or if that’s not an option, try to save domestic responsibilities for the weekends. By giving your body time to relax once you get home, you’re increasing your chances of a fuller recovery.
At USA Spine Care, we have helped many individuals with neck and back pain return to their busy lifestyles after bone spur surgery. For more information about the minimally invasive outpatient procedures that we offer, contact us today.