Traditional Methods of Pain Management
Following a minimally invasive spine surgery, the patients are able, and advised to walk around as much as possible. In most cases, patients will take some time off work as a precaution to avoid any strenuous activities that could hinder their recovery. For pain relief following a procedure, you should avoid bending, lifting, twisting, and anything that could be considered an aggressive activity.
Managing Pain at Home
At home, modify your activity to eliminate bending, lifting, or twisting. This probably means you will need some help for a day or two. Following lower back procedures, patients can take anti-inflammatory medications, but avoid them after a neck procedure, because bleeding can become a more serious complication in that region of the body.
Follow-up care instructions should be easy to understand but ask questions if you are uncertain. You usually get prescription medication, such as a low-dose narcotic medication, for a short period of time to keep you comfortable after your surgery.
Depending on when the procedure, you may use ice or heat to manage the pain. You might also use a brace if necessary to alleviate pain.
Duration of Pain Management
The length of time a recovering patient should continue these methods is entirely dependent on how quickly the recovery progresses, their age, and the type of procedure they have undergone. Most people improve in the first seven to ten days, while others can improve sooner than that.
Some patients go back to work in two to three days. It depends on what procedure they have and how many levels they are having done, their age, and many other factors. However, that can vary significantly from patient to patient.
Every patient is different and their pain experiences will be different. Some people will require pain medication for about two to three days after the surgery. As the incision site heals, the pain will improve and therefore they will not require pain medications.
Post-Operative Pain Increase
Most people do have some discomfort for a short period of time after the procedure that is initially alleviated by the anesthetic medication and the pain medications. It is possible to feel little to no discomfort following a procedure, while certain patients may be prone to take longer to recover.
Everyone reacts to pain differently, so some people can have more pain, but that is not typical. If the pain is unbearable, or worse than it was prior to the surgery, that is concerning and you should call your doctor immediately.