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Back Surgery

There is a risk of complications with any surgery. You should only have surgery when its benefits outweigh the risks involved. In patients with severe damage to the spine, surgery may be the best or even the only realistic option for recovery. As your body ages, you should expect to lose some of your mobility. However, if your spinal issues keep you from functioning normally, it could be a sign of serious problems.

If so, these problems could be improved with the appropriate treatment. Pain and reduced function caused by spinal problems can significantly limit your ability to participate in life. If your spinal problems are affecting your quality of life, it is time to see a specialist. Very few doctors would recommend spinal surgery without first exhausting nonsurgical treatments. If you have tried nonsurgical treatments and your condition is still not improving, you may need surgery.

In most cases, you have time to consider your treatment options and make an informed decision about spinal surgery. Most doctors and patients would prefer to avoid surgery when possible, but this is not always realistic. In cases involving severe injury, patients may require spinal surgery on short notice.


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Progressive spinal conditions like osteoporosis tend to get worse over time. If you have a progressive condition, you should see a specialist regularly to monitor your condition.

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During these visits, be sure to discuss your future treatment options, including surgery. When and if your condition takes a sudden downturn, you will be ready to make a decision based on the facts. Many spinal deformities such as scoliosis and kyphosis involve excessive curvatures of the spine. In the early stages, these conditions are often treated with physical therapy and braces.


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Although eager to finally feel pain free, healing your body post-surgery is a process. The treating physician and nursing staff will have presumably written discharge instructions and prescriptions, but there are other practical preparations that can be made to ease the transition from hospital to home. To keep you on track to a successful recovery, we have a few tips from medical experts to ensure your sleep is as restorative and pain-free as possible. Talking to a physiotherapist will help you determine the most comfortable position for your body and post-surgical procedure.

A firm mattress is the best sleep surface, and soft pillows will add support for your neck and legs under knees.

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Although it might sound counterintuitive, back sleeping is a great sleeping position post back surgery. When sleeping on your back, try to avoid sleeping with your arms over your head because it will put stress on your shoulders and neck. Sleeping with your knees bent and a pillow either under or between your knees, is important for spinal alignment. If side sleeping is the most beneficial for you, be sure that your legs rest on top of each other and are bent, with the top leg slightly forward.

Try to avoid resting your top knee on the bed and sleeping with your arms under your head or neck. To stay in the side sleeping position, place a pillow behind the body and tucked under the back and hips to avoid rolling out of the position.

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According to Neuro Micro Spine , Mark Giovani MD, says that stomach sleeping is not usually permitted or recommended for patients recovering from surgery. It would be best to consult with your doctor about this sleeping position. Changing positions in bed post back surgery can be very difficult. The best method to protect your back when shifting sleep positions or getting up from bed, is the log-roll. To log-roll, simply 1 keep your back straight to avoid twisting, and roll to your side, 2 push off the surface with your arms, and 3 gently swing your legs to the floor.

We recommend consulting with your doctor during preparation for your surgery to determine what positions will be best suited to your sleep architecture, style, and your surgical incision location. This is one of the hardest ones, we empathize with you! Between medications and your body actively working to heal itself, you may be fatigued, sleepy, and tired.

Napping frequently or for long durations during the day may inhibit your ability to sleep at night. Sleeping whenever drowsiness hits may cause you to mix up your days and nights in terms of sleeping patterns. When the urge to crash presents itself, try to distract yourself to stay awake and alert. The more comfortable your recovery space, the more rest you will receive. Think about the location of your bed. Is it downstairs? If so, consider moving your bed downstairs ahead of time, because navigating stairs post-surgery can be tricky.

While you are regrouping, you may need a few things on-hand and within reach. Think about those important items and how you can easily access them from bed.

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Do you have a space to keep your medications close by? Will the TV need to be moved closer to the bed? Even the small things, such as, seeing if your phone charger is long enough to reach you while in bed.

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An organizer with a change of clothes and a heating pad is always good to keep nearby. For bed linens, light sheets and blankets will be easier to move without having to adjust your position if you get too hot or cold while sleeping. This tip goes hand in hand with nap limitations. If your circadian rhythm is on track, the easier it will be to fight daytime drowsiness. Restoring and healing your body does take a lot of energy, and is best done when sleep is continuous and uninterrupted.

If you are struggling to stick to a sleep schedule, pay attention to your caffeine intake, level of daily physical activity, and your nighttime routine.

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