You should always strive to make healthy choices when it comes to your diet, but that sentiment rings even truer after spine surgery. Your body is in a weakened state following a spine procedure, so it’s important that diet contributes to your recovery instead of hindering it. In today’s blog, we share some steps to take to improve your diet and help speed up your recovery after spine surgery.
Striving for a well-balanced diet is crucial after spine surgery. Here’s why:
Key Nutrients – As we alluded to above, your body is in a weakened state following the trauma of surgery. Tissues have been cut, areas have been decompressed and blood is being sent to these areas to assist with the healing process. We want our blood to be full of healthy vitamins and nutrients that can aid in the recovery process, and we can help our bodies get this through our diet. Search for high fiber foods like dark green vegetables and skip the sugary stuff that can contribute to inflammation and slow the healing process. Help your body get the nutrients it needs to fuel recovery through your diet.
Pressure Reduction – Your spine handles stress whether you’re sitting or walking, and the more you weigh, the more stress that needs to be dispersed by your spine. In other words, if you’re heavier, your spine is going to be under more stress. Having a healthy diet after spine surgery can not only help you avoid gaining weight, but when paired with safe exercise, it can actually help you lose weight, which will help take pressure off a weakened structure in the midst of recovering.
Activity Reduction – It’s also important to monitor your eating habits in the days and weeks after a spinal procedure because it’s likely that you’re not going to be as active while you’re recovering. If you continue to eat like you normally would but aren’t as active and in turn burning off calories, it’s a recipe for weight gain, which as we discussed in the above point, will only put more stress on your recovering spine.
Don’t Starve Yourself – While it’s important not to overeat and gain weight, now isn’t the time to cut calories either. Your body will still benefit from a calorie count indicative of your age, size and activity, because food will help keep the body functioning optimally, which is important during the recovery stage. Consume a healthy amount of calories instead of starving your body of the nutrients it yearns for.
If you can do this, we’re confident that you’ll be helping your body speed up its recovery in the wake of spine surgery. If you need help adjusting your diet after an operation, or you want to talk to a specialist about your back pain, reach out to Dr. Chang’s office today.