Spine surgery is a significant step towards regaining comfort, mobility, and a pain-free life. However, it’s not the final step in your journey. A patient who has undergone spine surgery is almost at the finish line but is not quite there until complete recovery.
Road to Optimal Recovery: Need for Best Practices
Spine in its post-operative state healing phase tends to be in its most delicate state, and it needs rest and care to ensure a smooth recovery. Any disturbances or mishaps during the recovery phase may prolong the recovery times and cause complications. So, the optimal recovery phase after spine surgery includes the best practices that minimize discomfort, reduce the risk, and improve recovery pace and time.
“Many patients who have undergone spine surgery often struggle to find comfortable sleeping and sitting positions. They are understandably apprehensive about positions that might affect their spine “, says Children and Adult Spinal Surgeon Mr. Jwalant S. Mehta. So, with this input, we discuss the best positions to sleep and sit after spine surgery for faster recovery. Read on:
Best Positions to Sleep after Spine Surgery:
Getting ready to sleep after spine surgery may be challenging, owing to the uneven strain that everyday sleeping habits can put on the delicate spine. So here’s what you can do:
- Start by sitting on the side of the bed (or edge) and use your arms to lower your body gently.
- Bring your feet up as you lower your body to the bed – this helps minimize awkward motion.
- Now move slowly to your most comfortable position and relax
But how do you choose the most optimal place to sleep? We are here to help.
If you are a back sleeper: Sleeping on your back is the most optimal position for patients who have undergone spine surgery. But patients are recommended to place a pillow under their legs for much-needed support and to relieve stress in the back and ease the pain. Patients should also avoid resting their arms below the neck as it can create added pressure on the shoulders and neck.
If you are a side sleeper: If you prefer to sleep on your side, you can do so by placing a pillow between your legs while you lay on your side. This additional cushion provides crucial support and stabilizes the spine. However, side sleepers tend to change sides in the middle of the night, so we suggest using the “leg roll” technique, where you bend the knee, tighten your core, and then switch sides of your arm. One can also use the “leg roll” technique to get up from bed.
How to Sit after Spine Surgery?
Sitting after spine surgery can be more challenging than sleeping because prolonged sitting at a desk places stress on the back. People often tend to slouch or adopt awkward positions, which can further increase the strain. To sit comfortably and reduce strain, consider the following tips:
Choose the Right Chair: Use a chair that allows your feet to rest firmly on the ground with your hips at the same level as your knees. Avoid chairs that misalign your hips and knees.
Use a Stool: If the chair is too high, use a small stool to support your feet. Stand up and stretch every 40 minutes to relieve stress.
Maintain Proper Alignment:
- Ensure your shoulders, ears, and hips are aligned while sitting.
- Avoid tucking phones between your shoulders and neck.
- Organize your workspace so that everything you need is within arm’s reach.
Since we spend significant time sitting or standing, it’s crucial to follow these best practices to reduce strain, pain, and discomfort. If you or someone you know has undergone spine surgery and is struggling with adjusting to the recovery phase, consider consulting a spine surgery specialist in London who can guide you in improving your sitting and sleeping habits. If you are live in or around Birmingham, you can consult spinal surgery specialist Mr. Jwalant S. Mehta.