Surgery of any type takes a serious toll on both the body and mind. More invasive surgeries that require long recovery times can have an even greater impact on your life, putting you out of commission for months or at times even years. For many people, the recovery period can be one of the most frustrating times of their lives while they wait for their body to regain its strength and functionality at what they often find to be a painstakingly slow pace. If you have just come through an invasive surgery, you are probably looking forward to when you will be able to resume all of your old activities without fatigue or pain. To help you get back on your feet safely, you should gradually build up your endurance and strength through exercise and a healthy diet, while making sure to keep a positive point of view and remember that slow progress is both safer and more effective than pushing yourself too far, too fast. Try some of these tips to keep a positive outlook on your situation, strengthen your body, and make yourself and your family proud of your hard work:
Gradually begin exercising.
Although you may be itching to get outside after your months of recovery after surgery, take it slow. If you do not, you may damage the sensitive area of your body and push yourself back into the recovery bed. Begin simply, by making sure you dress yourself daily and take care of your daily needs independently. When this comes easily, take leisurely 15 minute walks around your home or, if you have someone that can look over you in case of emergency, even outside. Do not try to lift anything over ten pounds, as this can strain your muscles and increase your heart rate, and avoid climbing stairs several times a day. When your doctor gives you the go ahead to begin exercising more traditionally, do not expect your strength or endurance levels to be anywhere near what they used to be – forget about those old goals. You should establish a new exercise regime that applies to your body’s current state. Again, going too far too fast will cost you much more in the long run than patiently building your body back up.
Even out your body.
Many patients who have undergone intense surgery complain that, although their entire body is weakened after the experience, certain parts of their bodies are particularly affected. For example, this may mean that the abdominal muscles are much weaker than the arms or legs for some or that one side of the body is much stronger than the other side for others. In this case, many patients feel as if they should intensely work the weaker part to catch up with the rest of the body.This is a mistake. If you find yourself in this position, use your weakest part as a set-point for your exercise. This is the only way you can guarantee that you do not overwork the damaged area or further the inequality in strength of your muscles.
Try out behavioral solutions for pain relief.
Most people who have undergone invasive surgery suffer from chronic pain for months after the procedure, prompting them to turn to over-the-counter or intense prescription drugs to get through the day. Although this may be necessary for pain management in the immediate months after surgery, you should try to wean yourself off these medications as soon as possible to be able to really feel what is happening in your body and strengthen both your body and mind. Exercising regularly will help with pain management and can be combined with activities like yoga to ease your body into flexibility and movement. For acute pain, you can try acupuncture or Radiofrequency Ablation, both of which work to target specific areas of nerve tissue to lessen or even completely remove chronic pain.
Gradually reintroducing your body to regular exercise that uses your weakest area’s strength level as a baseline and using behavioral techniques to manage your pain can significantly help you through the challenging recovery process safely. Do not let yourself get down about your reduced strength or endurance – recovery is a long process. With patience and dedication, you will be able to greatly increase your functionality and hopefully even get back to your previous physical state. Stay strong – both mentally and physically!
This is a guest post by Nate Miller, a part-time guest-blogger. His main interests are Health, with a recent focus on Technology. He is constantly extending his fields of interest to incorporate news suggested to him by his readers. Also, if you like his writing, make sure to follow him on Twitter.