Wednesday, April 10, 2024

How To Relieve Back Pain After Surgery

What We Know About Post

How To Relieve Chronic Pain After Surgery? Dr.Berg

Learn more about the 4 different types of surgery and which back problems and pain they address.

A lot of factors determine your post-op pain and recovery. How painful your back surgery may be is affected by: the type of back surgery youve had the extent of your osteoarthritis/ disease/ bone degradation your age pre-surgery fitness and mobility level your mental state if you have chronic pain etc. For instance, pain after spinal fusion surgery of multiple vertebrae may be worse than a minimally invasive laminectomy on a younger, fitter patient.

Heres what we know about back surgery post-op pain:

Did you know: The more you mentally and physically prepare for back surgery, the smoother and less painful your recovery will be?

  • Right after surgery, you will feel pain in the surgical area. Your body went through a traumatic experience and there will be overall discomfort.
  • After surgery, you will feel pain from your wound, swelling around the nerves, and general swelling around the wound. After surgery, pain is no longer achy and arthritic but stems from wound healing, swelling and inflammation.
  • You will experience some pain outside of the hospital.
  • For most back surgeries, it will take 1-1.5 months to resume normal mobility and function. During this time, pain should be tolerable and controlled.
  • Those whove been on narcotic pain medication for their back pain prior to surgery tend to have a more painful recovery.

Tips For Effective And Safer Ways To Manage Your Pain

Avoid opioid pain pills whenever possible. In many cases, non-opioid pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen , will control postsurgical pain if taken as recommended. We just completed a study of 163 knee arthroscopy patients who were sent home with non-opioid pain management, says Dr. Matzkin. Based on the findings of this study, 82% of patients who undergo arthroscopic partial meniscectomy or chondroplasty can achieve satisfactory pain control with non-opioid pain management.

Limit opioid medication use. If it is necessary to use an opioid, limit the amount of time you take it, says Dr. Christopher Chiodo, an instructor in orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. Ideally, you should take it for less than a week and only when other options wont work, he says. One way to reduce the amount of opioid medication you are taking is to alternate it with non-opioid treatments, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, if your doctor approves.

Shouldnt Losing Weight Make My Back Hurt Less

One of the main reasons why patients experience back pain after gastric sleeve surgery is because they lose a significant amount of weight. While this may seem like it would make your back hurt less, the reality is that it can actually put a lot of strain on your spine and muscles. When you lose weight, your body starts to break down fat and muscle for energy. This can lead to a loss of muscle mass, which can then lead to back pain.

In addition, the muscles have likely been under a lot of stress for many years, supporting excess weight. Suddenly being able to relax a bit can cause reactive pain until the muscles adjust.

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Why Does Back Pain Persist After Surgery

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or seek care at an emergency room.

Living with severe back pain can be debilitating. If left untreated, the pain can make it difficult or impossible to perform everyday tasks.

There are a number of treatments that can address the many causes of back pain, including surgery. While surgery can make a big difference with certain kinds of pain, people sometimes think it will make all their discomfort go away. Surgery is not always a cure-all. And its important to understand what you can expect from spine surgery, so you go into the procedure prepared for what comes next.

One of the most important parts of my job is helping patients understand their back and spine conditions and whats causing their symptoms. With that in mind, lets look at the most common causes of back pain in adults, and how we treat these conditions.

Walk Often During Your Back Surgery Recovery

10 Exercises to Relieve Back Pain

Your primary source of exercise post-surgery will be walking. It reduces pain and aids the recovery process by preventing potential muscle atrophy and blood clots. Expect to be up and out of bed the day after your surgery and every day while you are in the hospital.

That is to say, as soon as you can, get moving.

While at home, walk your planned indoor route six or seven times daily. Do not walk anywhere you are unsure of the footing. And, as you increase your mobility, dont forget: no BLTs .

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When To See A Spine Specialist For Chronic Back Pain

Sometimes back pain comes on quick, and you know exactly what caused it. After some stretching, resting and pain relievers, youll remember to bend with your knees next time.

But, other times, people experiencing back pain are often left thinking: I dont even remember when the pain started or what I did to cause it. The reality is that the source of you back pain may not always be evident which can also make it hard to know when its time to see an expert.

Dr. Hwang says the following five signs likely indicate that its time to see a spine specialist for your back pain:

1. Your pain is severe. While some back pain is only mild to moderate, severe back pain is when your pain is constant, intense or gets worse when youre resting or at night.

2. Your pain is persistent. If your back pain lasts longer than three months, its considered chronic and may require a tailored treatment plan.

3. Your pain isnt isolated to your back. If your pain is traveling down your leg, you have numbness or weakness in your hips or legs, or youre experiencing tingling in your legs and feet, it may be a sign that theres pressure on your spine.

4. Everyday activities have become difficult. If your back pain is already affecting routine activities, dont let it get so debilitating that it keeps you from doing things you enjoy.

Next Steps:

Are There Ways I Can Relieve Pain Without Medication

Yes, there are other ways to relieve pain and it is important to keep an open mind about these techniques. When used along with medication, these techniques can dramatically reduce pain.

Guided imagery is a proven form of focused relaxation that helps create calm, peaceful images in your mind — a “mental escape.”

Relaxation media can be purchased at some bookstores or on-line stores, or can be borrowed from your local library. You can bring your relaxation media and listening device to the hospital to play prior to surgery and during your hospital stay.

For the best results, practice using the relaxation techniques before your surgery, and then use them twice daily during your recovery. Listening to soft music, changing your position in bed, or tuning in to a hospital relaxation channel are additional methods to relieve or lessen pain. Ask your nurse for channel information.

At home, heat or cold therapy may be an option to help reduce swelling and control your pain. Your surgical team will provide specific instructions if these therapies are appropriate for you.

If you have an abdominal or chest incision, you will want to splint the area with a pillow when you are coughing or breathing deeply to decrease motion near your incision. You will be given a pillow in the hospital. Continue to use it at home as well.

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Lumbar Spinal Fusion Options

Removing the soft tissues between two or more adjacent vertebral bones and replacing them with bone or metal is called fusion surgery. This procedure enables the bones to grow together over timetypically 6 to 12 monthsand fuse into one long bone to stabilize and eliminate motion at those spinal segments.

In the lumbar spine, fusion can be done from the back , the front , the side , or combined. Modern techniques, implants, navigation, and biologics have made the surgery more predictable with an easier recovery and return to normal activity and work.

The most reliable indications for lumbar spinal fusion include spondylolisthesis, fracture, instability, deformity, degenerative disc disease, and stenosis. For lower back pain caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction, fusion of the sacroiliac joint is an option. Tumors and infections are also treated with fusion surgery, but these conditions are far less common.

Common Causes Of Chronic Back Pain

Back Pain Relief Stretches After Knee Replacement Surgery

Chronic back painis usually age-related, but can also result from a prior injury. The mostcommon causes include:

In some cases, its difficult to pinpoint the cause of chronic back pain.If your doctor has exhausted all diagnostic options, its time to seek asecond opinion from a back pain specialist, recommends Nava. Itsimportant not to make rushed decisions or undergo extensive medicalprocedures until the origin of the pain is found. Not only may they nothelp they could make the pain worse, warns Nava.

If the source of the pain is not known or cant be treated, your bestoption may be to work with your doctor on reducing the flare-ups and makingthe pain manageable with nonsurgical treatments.

Back Pain Causes and Treatments Webinar | Stephanie Van, M.D.

Chronic back pain is a persistent source of discomfort for many adults. In this webinar, our expert Stephanie Van, M.D., discusses common causes of back pain along with strategies for relief.

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Follow Your Doctors Post

Listening to your doctors directions for postoperative recovery is the number one way to reduce recovery time after back surgery. Before surgery, your doctor will carefully outline your recovery plan, including realistic expectations for pain management and return to normal activities. While some of the restrictions may seem burdensome, do not push yourself beyond what your doctor recommends. These recommendations are designed to give your body the time it needs to heal properly.

Your physician is going to recommend plenty of rest, which can be frustrating for people who are used to being physically active. Remind yourself that healing is productive, though it may not feel like it. Your doctors recommendations will also include specific medication instructions. Be sure you understand what medications you will be taking for pain control and how often you will need to take them. If you are planning to have a friend, child, or spouse help you during recovery, it can be beneficial to let them know your medication schedule so that they can help you stay on track.

Back Pain After Gallbladder Surgery: Causes & Incidence

Our content is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice by your doctor. Use for informational purposes only.

  • Back pain after gallbladder surgery is one of the most common complaints.
  • The pain is more common in patients undergoing open cholecystectomy compared to the laparoscopic technique.
  • In most cases, back pain will resolve within a few days.
  • However, Some patients may continue to have back and abdominal pain for months or years after gallbladder removal.

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How Long Does It Take For Back Muscles To Heal After Surgery

Your Recovery You may have trouble sitting or standing in one position for very long and may need pain medicine in the weeks after your surgery. It may take 4 to 6 weeks to get back to doing simple activities, such as light housework. It may take 6 months to a year for your back to get better completely.

How Much Pain After Back Surgery Is Normal

Five Best Back Pain Stretches For Back Pain Relief

Most of your healing from back surgery will take place during the first couple of months but bones can take a year or more to fully heal. As you leave the hospital, your body may be achy from surgery. As youre pain medication dose tapers off you may also notice an increase in pain. Pain spikes can also occur as you ramp up movement and physical therapy in the weeks after your procedure date.

However, as a general rule of thumb, the further you are into post-op recovery, the less pain you should be experiencing. Of course there will be ebbs and flows where some days will be more painful than earlier days, but as a whole, week by week, you should be noticing an improvement to your back pain levels.

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How Effective Is Laminectomy

Most patients experience significant back pain relief and symptom improvement after laminectomy surgery. Surgery does not correct the underlying problem thats causing spinal tissues to wear down gradually. For that reason, your symptoms may come back.

Some people continue to experience pain and worsening symptoms after laminectomy surgery.

Can Anesthesia Make Your Back Hurt

Minor back pain Soreness can happen at the site where the needle was inserted into the back. Difficulty urinating If you were numbed from the waist down, it may be difficult to urinate for a little while after the procedure. Hematoma Bleeding beneath the skin can occur where the anesthesia was injected.

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How Can I Control Pain At Home

You may be given prescriptions for pain medication to take at home. These may or may not be the same pain medications you took in the hospital. Talk with your doctor about which pain medications will be prescribed at discharge.

Note: Make sure your doctor knows about pain medications that have caused you problems in the past. This will prevent possible delays in your discharge from the hospital.

Preparation for your discharge

Your doctors may have already given you your prescription for pain medication prior to your surgery date. If this is the case, it is best to be prepared and have your medication filled and ready for you when you come home from the hospital. You may want to have your pain pills with you on your ride home if you are traveling a long distance. Check with your insurance company regarding your prescription plan and coverage for your medication. Occasionally, a pain medication prescribed by your doctor is not covered by your insurance company.

If you dont receive your prescription for pain medication until after the surgery, make sure a family member takes your prescription and either gets it filled at your hospitals pharmacy or soon after your discharge from the hospital. It is important that you ARE PREPARED in case you have pain.

Make sure you wear comfortable clothes, and keep your coughing and deep breathing pillow with you.

You may want to have your relaxation music available for your travels.

While at home:

Frequently asked questions

When Should I Consider Back Surgery

Pain After Back Surgery: When Is It Normal and What Can I do About It?

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases , part of the National Institutes of Health , the following conditions may be candidates for surgical treatment:

  • Herniated or ruptured disks, in which one or more of the disks that cushion the bones of the spine are damaged
  • Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves
  • Spondylolisthesis, in which one or more bones in the spine slip out of place
  • Vertebral fractures caused by injury to the bones in the spine or by osteoporosis
  • Degenerative disk disease, or damage to spinal disks as a person gets older

In rare cases, back pain is caused by a tumor, an infection, or a nerve root problem called cauda equina syndrome. In these cases, NIAMS advises surgery right away to ease the pain and prevent more problems.

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At Home: Pain Control

When you left the hospital, you got a prescription for narcotic pain medicine. Take it as directed, before your pain becomes bad. You might take it at least 45 minutes before a physical therapy session to prevent discomfort. Some people stay on the drugs for several weeks. Doctors suggest quitting within 3 months of surgery. Avoid ibuprofen, aspirin, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for 3 to 6 months after spinal surgery. They can slow healing.

Common Treatments For Back Injuries

Most back pain comes from minor injuries. If you have a minor back injury, it could heal in as little as one to four weeks. A doctor might prescribe treatments like:

  • Avoiding activities that worsen pain or require heavy lifting
  • Rest combined with regular activities that dont worsen pain
  • Physical therapy or physiotherapy
  • Over-the-counter or prescription medications
  • Surgery, in some cases

Severe back injuries can take much longer to heal. Some never completely heal and require long-term assistance. The details will depend on how your injury happened, the type of back injury, and your overall health.

Some back pain can also show up later on. For example, you might not notice a back injury right after an accident. It could take time to realize that you are experiencing more pain or discomfort.

If your back injury happens after an accident, call your doctor immediately. Its also best to speak with a personal injury lawyer who can let you know your rights. You might deserve financial compensation for a back injury caused by an accident.

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