5 Tips for Returning to Sports After Back Surgery

Back pain can be debilitating and make you miserable. Back surgery is an option when other treatments have not relieved your symptoms, and your back problems are making it very difficult for you to function. Surgery can help relieve the pain and allow you to move freely again. 

It is important to take the time to heal properly before returning to sports to ensure you don’t re-injure yourself. When you can return to your pre-surgery activities depends on a number of factors, such as your previous level of fitness, your preferred sports, and what kind of surgery you had. 

The following five tips will help you have a smooth transition from surgery through recovery and back to the court or field. 

Tip #1: Know your surgery 

There are a number of different back surgeries, such as laminectomy, diskectomy, and spinal fusion. Each of these surgeries is designed to solve a different problem, has different risks, and different recovery periods. Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo helps you understand your type of surgery and what you can expect throughout your recovery period.

Tip #2: Have realistic goals and expectations

Every person is different, and every surgery is different. Your recovery time depends on a number of factors, such as the complexity of the surgery, your fitness levels before the surgery, and your age. Dr. Okubadejo works with you to develop a treatment plan, and helps you set realistic expectations of what your activity level will be like during your recovery period.

Tip #3: Be honest with yourself

You may not be able to push yourself as hard as you did before your surgery. Listen to your doctor, and most of all, listen to your body. If your body is telling you to stop, no matter what your treatment plan says, then stop doing what you’re doing and inform your doctor. Pushing yourself too hard could cause you to re-injure yourself or cause a related injury.

Tip #4: Avoid contact

Every sport has different risks, and for a back surgery patient, the risks are much higher. Contact sports are especially dangerous because they present intense, unpredictable risks that are very difficult to manage. After back surgery, you may not be able to return to high-contact sports without risking re-injuring your back.

Tip #5: Follow your treatment plan

In addition to your orthopedic surgeon, you may have physical and occupational therapists on your post-surgery treatment team. Follow your team’s treatment plan carefully! Communicate with your doctor about what you are feeling. Generally taking care of your body by resting and eating well, and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes will also speed up the healing process.

Back surgery can often help relieve back pain when other treatments don’t work. With proper professional support and by following a well-developed treatment plan, you will soon be able to get back to being active. Call or click to make an appointment with Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo at The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care today! 

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