Going through with a major operation and dealing with the resulting agony might be two of life’s most trying experiences. Effective pain management following surgery is essential to a speedy and full recovery. Although medication is the go-to for pain management, there are non-pharmaceutical methods that can be just as effective. Here are eight strategies for managing the discomfort that inevitably follows major surgery.
Stay on Top of Pain Medication
After major surgery, it is essential to take your pain medication as directed. If you take your pain medicine as prescribed, you won’t have to worry about the discomfort becoming out of hand. If you have any unwanted effects or if your pain is not being well managed, talk to your doctor. To benefit most from your medication, read and follow all label directions. Medication should be taken exactly as recommended and never skipped. If the discomfort persists despite taking the prescribed medication, you should consult your doctor.
Though it may be tempting to rest in bed after surgery, keeping active can aid in healing and decrease pain. Even the simplest of exercises, like going for a stroll, can help reduce inflammation and pain. You should talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program. You should ease into exercise gradually if you were inactive before surgery. Start with small walks around the neighborhood and work up to longer outings. Take pauses when you need them and avoid overworking yourself.
Use Ice and Heat
Pain relief after surgery can be achieved with either ice or heat. While heat increases blood flow and relaxes muscles, ice can reduce inflammation and numb the area. If you want to know what’s best for you, talk to your doctor. For best results, wrap an ice pack in a towel and hold it on the skin for 20 minutes. Don’t reapply it for at least 20 minutes. A warm compress or a warm bath are two options for applying heat. If swelling or bruising occurs, you should not apply heat to the region.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Pain management and alleviation can be achieved by the practice of relaxation techniques including deep breathing, meditation, and visualization. You are free to incorporate these tactics into any additional pain treatments that you decide to pursue. You can discover the most effective strategy for relaxation by experimenting with a variety of ways. Yoga and meditation are only two examples of activities that might help you unwind and calm down.
Having loved ones who are invested in your recovery is essential right now. All things loved ones may provide are emotional support, practical assistance with everyday duties, and words of encouragement. You could benefit from connecting with others who have experienced a similar surgical procedure through a support group, and it might be helpful to talk to people who have gone through the same thing as you.
Although it may be challenging, but maintaining an optimistic outlook during recovery has significantly reduced reported pain levels. Pain may be made worse by dwelling on unpleasant thoughts and feelings, whereas the opposite is true for the experience of lessening pain. Keeping a grateful attitude might help you maintain optimism. Think about how fortunate you are to have the love and support of family and friends and how far you’ve come in your recovery. To keep your mind from wandering, try writing down things you are thankful for.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Long-term pain management can be aided by eating well following major surgery. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods aid in reducing swelling and speeding recovery. Fresh fruit, healthy grains, and lean proteins are all excellent options. Avoiding meals high in sugar and fat and processed foods is recommended since they can cause inflammation and discomfort and should thus be avoided.
Communicate with Your Healthcare Team
Lastly, keep in touch with your medical staff while you heal. Ensure they know if you’re in pain or having other symptoms. They may help you fine-tune your pain relief strategy and make sure you’re on the road to recovery. Contact your spine surgeon if you’ve recently had spinal surgery. They can check up on you to make sure you’re recovering normally. Be sure to go to all your post-op visits and listen to the post-op care instructions they provide you.
If you have recently moved to a new state after your spinal surgery, it is advised to find a spinal surgeon near you to make sure you get regular checkups. With the help of the internet, it has become quite easy to find a spine surgeon near you. For example, if you live in Phoenix you can simply search for a spine surgeon in Phoenix on the internet to find the right one for you.
Managing pain after major surgery can be challenging, but many strategies can help ease discomfort and speed up recovery. Adherence to prescribed painkillers, physical activity, the application of cold and heat, relaxation methods, social support, a good attitude, a balanced diet, and open communication with your healthcare providers are all vital to managing your pain effectively. If you follow these suggestions, you should have no trouble making a complete and rapid recovery.