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5 Tips for Successfully Managing Post-Surgical Pain

September 26, 2023

Pain clinics mostly see patients dealing with chronic pain, but these clinics are also beneficial for those dealing with pain resulting from surgery. Fortunately, many of the principles that apply to chronic pain management can also be utilized in a post-surgical situation. Post-surgical pain can be managed until it eventually subsides on its own.

KindlyMD is able to treat post-surgical pain thanks to plant-based medicines made available through Utah's Medical Card program. As a side note, plant-based medicines are one alternative to the traditional pharmacological approach to pain management. We think it’s something well worth considering if you have an upcoming surgery that could result in acute (short-term) pain.

With all of that in mind, here are five tips for successfully managing post-surgical pain:

1. Follow Prescription Recommendations

Whether surgical patients choose traditional prescription medications or plant-based medicines, their doctors will make recommendations. The most effective way to manage post-surgical pain is to follow those recommendations.

In the case of prescription medications, following the instructions on the medication label is a no-brainer. When plant-based medicines are chosen, the patient's medical provider should offer recommendations about dosage and delivery. They should be followed as well.

2. Follow Recommendations for Rest

A patient's body usually needs time to heal following surgery, and medical providers usually recommend getting plenty of rest during this recovery phase.  When patients don't get enough rest, post-surgical pain can actually feel worse. The good news is that the opposite is also true. Getting plenty of rest helps the body heal. As it does, pain tends to gradually subside.

3. Utilize Heat or Cold Therapy

It is not uncommon for surgeons to recommend either heat or cold therapy. Heat therapy, by way of heating pads and heat-generating topical medications, can reduce muscle and soft tissue pain by encouraging relaxation. Cold therapy helps to alleviate pain by reducing inflammation and numbing the general area.

One or the other is usually appropriate in the days following surgery. Patients should always ask their surgeons which therapy is the best choice. There might also be specific recommendations for implementing heat or cold therapy.

4. Exercise When Appropriate

Despite needing plenty of rest, some patients can benefit from regular exercise as well. It really depends on the type of surgery a patient has undergone. One way or another though, a patient will have to get back into the swing of things as healing progresses. Exercise can help a lot.

Exercise improves circulation. It strengthens muscles, tendons, and ligaments. As a result, it can also reduce pain. The only thing about exercising in a post-surgical scenario is overdoing it. It is important to follow a doctor's instructions.

5. Follow Up with the Doctor

The last tip for successfully managing post-surgical pain is probably the most important of all: follow up with the doctor. Follow-up visits accomplish a lot, beginning with allowing the doctor to evaluate the patient's progress. During follow-up visits, the patient can also relay how they are feeling.

Medical providers take advantage of follow-up visits to make modifications to a patient's treatment. A doctor might want to reduce a certain medication or eliminate it altogether. There may be a need to temporarily alter the patient's lifestyle choices.

Pain is a normal part of surgical recovery. If you have ever had surgery yourself, you know the deal. If you have an upcoming surgical procedure for which you expect to have a need for prescription medications, there are alternatives. Contact us to learn more about the plant-based approach to managing surgical pain.

By KindlyMD
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