After surgery, pain is a common and expected experience. The type of pain you feel depends on the type of surgery you had. For most surgeries, the initial post-operative pain is managed with intravenous (IV) narcotic medications. These are typically given through a small IV catheter placed in your hand or arm during surgery.
As the anesthesia from your surgery wears off and your body starts to heal, the intensity of your post-surgical pain will likely lessen. However, some discomfort is to be expected as part of the healing process. Depending on the location and extent of your surgical incision(s), you may feel pulling, burning, or throbbing sensations around the area(s). Additionally, it’s not uncommon to have intermittent shooting pains that radiate from your incision site(s). Pain should never be severe throughout your recovery period.
In this article, we will give you 10 tips for how to manage and in avoiding post-surgical pain when you leave the hospital or surgery center.
10 Things to Do for Pain After Surgery
Just because some discomfort after surgery is normal, it does not mean you shouldn’t try to manage it and aim to have it greatly reduced for a more comfortable recovery. Here’s what to do:
- Study your doctor’s post-surgical instructions. Make sure to follow them closely to prevent complications and have a successful recovery. The instructions are designed to heal you as fast and safely as possible, while also ensuring your comfort.
- Keep the surgical area clean and dry according to your doctor’s instructions. An infected surgical wound causes a lot of pain, and infections only delay healing. There are specific instructions for how to care for surgical incision sites, so make sure to follow your doctor’s orders.
- Use an ice pack. Applying an ice pack for 20 minutes at a time can help numb soreness and reduce inflammation around the surgical site.
- Keep the body part elevated. It is recommended to keep your affected body part above heart level, which helps minimize swelling and decreases inflammation.
- Take your prescribed pain medication as directed. Your operating surgeon will discuss with you how to manage pain during recovery and prescribe pain medication. If possible, have your prescription medications filled out before the day of the surgery.
- Take it easy and rest your body. Avoid any activities that put stress on the surgery area, especially during the first few days and weeks when your wound is still healing. You do not want wound disruption or wound separation, which is a possible complication after surgery.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Dress for comfort and ease during your recovery. The clothes should be easy to get in and out of, which reduces the risk of accidents while changing.
- Eat a healthy diet and keep hydrated. Give your body the nutrition it needs to heal properly and make a complete recovery.
- Do your recommended exercises. Physical therapy is part of post-surgical rehabilitation. The exercises can help relieve pain and slowly get you back to full strength. Just make sure to move through the phases as directed by your physical therapist.
- Try relaxation techniques. Deep breathing and meditation exercises can do wonders for your mental and physical health while you are recuperating. They help lower stress levels and keep you positive throughout your recovery period.
If you continue to experience terrible post-surgical pain, it’s time to seek an expert in post-surgical pain treatment in Melbourne, Florida.
Post-Surgical Pain Treatment in Melbourne, FL
Dr. Nicholas Giordano at Central Florida Spine & Pain is an interventional pain management physician who is highly skilled and experienced at helping patients with post-surgical pain experience a vast improvement in their symptoms. Dr. Giordano does not believe in putting up with the pain and offers patients a range of cutting-edge pain treatments to beat pain and a support team of professionals that work together to get them back to living their life normally again.
Dr. Giordano is a highly-regarded doctor in the pain management community, with his expertise and excellent bedside manner. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Giordano, call our office today at (321) 802-5021 or use our convenient online request form.