Health and Fitness

Post-Surgery Pain: How to Lessen the Pain

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably experienced post-surgical pain at some point in your life. Whether you experienced this pain from a simple surgery or from a surgical procedure such as hip replacement surgery, knee prosthesis surgery, or even gallbladder surgery, you know the pain. It’s sharp and sudden—you might feel like a knife is being twisted in your abdomen, back, or knee. It’s unbearable, and you feel no relief.

Once you have had surgery, recovering from it can be daunting. And post-surgery pain can complicate recovery, even more, especially pain that lingers after surgery. But the good news is that there are things that can be done to help decrease pain and speed up recovery time.

Pain is one of the most debilitating conditions when it comes to recovery from medical procedures. From surgery to broken bones, pain can hinder your recovery, slow down your progress, and even affect your quality of life. Most pain during or after surgery is related to post-operative swelling and is treatable.

Post-surgery pain can last for many weeks, months, or even years and can seem nearly impossible to ween yourself from. But avoiding or even minimizing post-surgery pain is up to you; you have control over your pain management. Here, we’ve compiled a list of tips to follow after any type of surgery, including dental surgeries, in order to help minimize and fight pain.

Avoid stress

Pain management after surgery can be an ongoing process. In the weeks following the procedure, it’s important to monitor your pain level on a regular basis. Eventually, your pain levels will subside, and you’ll be able to resume your normal routines. However, general pain may persist for months, and in some cases, pain may persist for the rest of your life. The root of post-operative pain is inflammation, and it can be eased by improving the health of your immune system.

After surgery, it is important to keep your stress levels down. When the body undergoes trauma, it releases cortisol and adrenaline hormones. These hormones cause the body to release sugars from the muscles into the bloodstream, where those sugars are stored as fat. This can cause weight gain and make it more challenging to lose weight from the surgery.

Get the amount of sleep necessary 

When surgery is necessary, the risk for complications increases, as well as the need for adequate rest. Post-surgical pain can be severe and can be detrimental to healing and recovery. According to the National Institutes of Health, the majority of patients undergoing abdominal surgery experience moderate to significant pain within 2 to 4 days after surgery, with up to 80% of patients reporting moderate to severe pain.

Getting enough sleep is important for your health and well-being and for recovering from surgery. But as you look ahead to surgery, it’s important to understand how much sleep you need. Sleep requirements vary from person to person, but in order to get enough, you’ll need 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night.

Getting a good night’s rest is essential to having the energy you need to get out of bed the next morning. And that can be a challenge after you’ve had surgery. A new study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that lack of sleep after major abdominal surgery may make it harder for patients to perform well during the recovery process.

Take pain medication 

Surgery is a time in your life when pain is almost a certainty. The post-surgical pain that occurs for the first few days after surgery is often the worst. While pain medication can help, certain procedures require you to take medications for an extended period of time. So, how do you deal with pain after surgery without overdoing it?

Pain medication has been the go-to strategy for dealing with post-procedure pain since before the days of ibuprofen. Using powerful narcotic painkillers has been common practice for everything from dental work to knee and hip replacements, and today, even surgeries that aren’t considered major require medication.

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