According to data from the Centers for CMS (Medicare & Medicaid Services), over seven million Americans required hospitalization for orthopedic conditions in 2018. That makes orthopedic procedures some of the most common surgical treatments in the country.

Unfortunately, orthopedic procedures can also be absolutely debilitating. Not only do they rob you of your mobility, but they can also leave you in some serious pain. Thankfully, if you remain vigilant, it’s fairly easy to reduce pain and recovery time. By following specific habits, you make sure you protect your articulations and bones in general. You’ll be reserving any possible visit to the orthopedic surgeon only in cases of necessity.

Here are 5 tips to help get you started:

Stay Active

Stay Active

Staying active after surgery can be a tough choice. The reality is, however, as soon as your doctor clears you to begin walking, the more motion, the better. 

As the body moves, blood flow improves and the risk of deadly blood clots. Which can develop during long periods of inactivity, begins to fall. 

A 2014 study done by Maastricht University Medical Centre, found that not only is postoperative exercise after surgery a necessity, but even preoperative exercise can improve patients’ results. That’s right, and it pays to stay active, after, and even before your surgery. 

Of course, you may struggle with mobility post-surgery, and not just during recovery. Unfortunately, the reality is many orthopedic patients never fully recover their mobility post-surgery, especially those over the age of 65. This can make even the easiest things like getting up and down the stairs, nearly impossible. Don’t be afraid to try mobility accessories like walkers or stair lifts to help decrease recovery time and keep you mobile and independent.  

Breathing Exercises

Breathing Exercises

Prolonged immobility from surgical procedures can cause some serious problems for the human body. Muscles begin to atrophy; circulation slows, even the base of your lungs can begin to collapse.

When this happens, phlegm can build up, which makes lung infections more common. That’s why it’s so vital to remain active after surgery. 

Still, for many orthopedic patients getting up and walking around after surgery isn’t an option. If you’re in this camp, it pays to utilize breathing exercises to re-expand your lungs and rid them of phlegm. 

The NHS, the UK’s department of health, has a great guide for breathing exercises for patients to follow.

Get Adequate Rest

Getting adequate rest post-surgery may sound like an obvious thing to do, but unfortunately, too many patients forget this step and end up doing too much too soon. 

While you should stay active post-surgery, doing too much too soon can put you back in the hospital before you know it. One of the most common reasons that surgeries are unsuccessful is because patients end up reinjuring themselves before they can heal. 

When this happens, it’s not only demoralizing for the patient but also often leads to bankruptcy as insurance companies try and avoid paying for redo surgeries. 

Medical Marijuana

If you’re in some serious pain, and the classic Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) aren’t working for you, then you may want to look into getting a medical marijuana license. Your orthopedic physician may not be able to give you an MMJ license. But they can recommend a local physician to help get you enrolled.

Medical marijuana has been proven to reduce overall pain in some studies, including a recent study was done at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, which found that orthopedic patients who used marijuana saw improved lower extremity activity and reported less pain than their sober counterparts. 

Medical marijuana may not be one of your first options if the pain from your procedure becomes unbearable, but it is a great last resort in worst comes to worst scenarios.

Try A Spa Day

Try A Spa Day

If all else fails, it’s time for a spa day. The pain from orthopedic procedures can be overwhelming, have a relaxing spa day might be just what you need. 

Getting a massage and relaxing in comfort is a great way to heal. 

You may even want to try a natural spa, like Soap Lake Natural Spa, the minerals in the water are known for their healing benefits. Of course, you’ll need to wait until your incisions have healed. But unfortunately, recovery from surgery is a long game, so you’ll have plenty of time for the spa.

Relieving pain from orthopedic procedures can be a serious challenge. Still, if you follow these simple tips, you can make your life far more livable during these tough times.