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How To Sit And Sleep After Spine Surgery For Faster Recovery

May 7, 2019 | Spine Health

The Number One Tip For A Smooth Recovery

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After spine surgery, the number one piece of advice for a smooth recovery is to follow doctor’s orders. In general, however, there are a few tips for how to sit, sleep, and move to have a faster surgery recovery.

Postpone the road trip

Sitting for long periods of time can put undue stress on the spine. For a healthy spine and faster recovery, get up for a short walk every 30 minutes. Additionally, people who work at desk jobs or sit for most of the day should evaluate ergonomic positioning. Using low back supports and ergonomic chairs can help keep posture in proper alignment. Immediately after back surgery, patients should avoid long car rides until cleared by the surgeon.

There is a right way to sit

Sitting can put a lot of pressure on the spine. How a person sits makes a difference. Generally, patients should avoid sitting with knees higher than hips. When getting up from a seated position, slowly move to the end of the seat and use arm supports to push up while pushing down firmly with the legs.

Movements to avoid

While moving regularly after surgery is important, there are some movements that a surgeon will likely recommend avoiding. Lifting, twisting, and push/pull movements can put stress on the healing spine. A physician can advise on when a patient is safe to start incorporating these movements again after spine surgery.

Rest up for maximum recovery

Adequate sleep is a key component of any surgery recovery. Sleep is important for healing, improved immune function, and decreased inflammation. Sleeping peacefully can be tricky after spine surgery. To take the stress off the spine and back, sleep with head, shoulders, and upper back supported by a pillow. Placing a pillow or rolled blanket under the knees will keep one’s legs slightly bent while taking pressure off the spine.

Use the log roll method

Moving gently after surgery is important. To get out of bed, patients can use the log roll method. While laying down, bend and keep knees together and roll to one side all in one motion without twisting the spine. Then push up and gently letting the legs fall over the side of the bed into a seated position.

A higher quality of life

For many people, back surgery can lead to a higher quality, pain-free life. Proper recovery is key. Patients should consult with a surgeon about an individualized recovery plan after spine surgery for best results.

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