Doctors discussing the best post surgery recovery treatment for a patient while analyzing his radiology result

8 Post-Surgery Tips That May Help Speed Up Recovery

Are you looking for post-surgery recovery tips that work? You are not alone.

In the United States alone, there are nearly 50 million surgical inpatient procedures performed each year. Over 5 million of these are musculoskeletal surgeries. Whether the procedure was big or small, millions of people are trying to get back on their feet after surgery. 

If you’re one of them, don’t worry. Following a few simple (albeit important) tips, you can support your post-surgery recovery and regain your health quickly.

1. Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions

You would be surprised how many patients leave the hospital and disregard their doctor’s advice. It is in your best interest to follow their advice to avoid infections and promote post-surgery recovery. 

Your doctor may tell you to avoid baths for a period of time and keep your wound dry. This is important so the wound doesn’t reopen or get infected.

Your doctor may suggest that you avoid certain activities or not to lift anything heavy for the first few weeks of your surgery recovery. On the other hand, your doctor may tell you to get moving, walk or try some light movement, or do certain activities right away. Obviously, these are exactly opposite recovery suggestions. You simply can’t assume what will help you recover - it depends on your operation and how your doctor thinks your body will recover. 

After arthroscopic knee surgery, for example, you may be advised to start with light walking and movement soon after surgery. The goal is to help you regain mobility in a very active part of your body. It may hurt, but remember, they have your best interest, so follow it.

2. Take Care of the Incision and Wound

While the incision is healing, it is important that you take proper care of it. Prevent infections by washing your hands. Avoid baths until your doctor advises to do so. 

And again, follow your doctor’s aftercare instructions. They will explain to you what’s normal, what to expect, and how to care for the surgery wound. Keep in mind that something may look worse than it is during the healing process. And doing a quick Google photo search or asking WebMD about certain symptoms is not going to help instill peace of mind during a time when your body is in recovery mode.

That being said, you should still examine your wound daily to make sure that there is no unusual wound drainage or color going on. If you see something concerning, unusual, or painful, call or visit your doctor right away.

3. Control Your Pain with Supplements

Depending on your surgery, you may experience some pain for a few days or several weeks. Controlling your pain may be important for your mood and recovery. It may help you sleep better, get quality rest, and also follow your doctor’s and physical therapist’s instructions. Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter or prescription medication to ease your pain. 

If you are looking for some natural remedies to add to your diet and routine, research has shown that turmeric is highly effective at reducing inflammation, pain, and promoting post-surgery recovery. You may find turmeric capsules at health food stores, vitamin shops, and online. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet may also help to ease the pain and promote recovery.

Whether you are taking medication, turmeric, anti-inflammatory herbs, or other supplements, it is important that you discuss it with your doctor. They’ll make sure those natural supplements you are researching won’t interfere with anything you are currently taking and will follow your progress accordingly.

4. Keep Your Follow-Up Appointments

Again, this may seem obvious, but your follow-up appointments are there for a reason. 

Even if you are feeling good, it is important that you keep these appointments. In fact, that may be an even more important time to go to the doctor. He or she may be looking for something you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. 

This is the best way that your doctor and treatment team can monitor your post-surgery recovery. Just think: one more doctor’s visit now could mean fewer (or none) in the future!

5. Work with a Physical Therapist

Chances are, your doctor will recommend a good physical therapist that can help you get back on your feet. Physical therapy is important to restore movement in your joints, improve function, improve strength, reduce the risk of complications, improve circulation, ease pain, and guide you back to normal activities.

Your physical therapist will guide you through strategic exercises that are right for your body and specific surgery. They will help you practice the right movements and form while doing enough but not too much to ensure progress and healing. There can be a delicate (and sometimes difficult to identify) difference between a “good” or normal pain and a bad one when introducing movements into your post-surgery recovery.

Your physical therapist will likely give you some home exercises. It is crucial that you follow these at home to aid your progress. Set an alarm on your phone with an inspiring quote as the message to remember to do them, turn on some motivating music and get to it. 

6. Eat a Nutrient-Dense Diet

Your post-surgery diet is incredibly important for your post-surgery recovery. Your body needs enough calories and nutrients more than ever to help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. The right diet may help to speed recovery, decrease the risk of infection, increase energy and improve your strength.

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet and focus on nutrient-dense whole foods. This is what you need to pay attention to during your post-surgery recovery:

  • Fiber: After surgery, it is common to experience constipation. Instead of relying on laxatives, focus on a high-fiber diet first. Fresh greens, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds are excellent sources of fiber. Avoid refined sugar, ‘white grains’, such as white pasta, white rice, and white bread, processed foods, and junk food as they may increase constipation.

  • Protein: Protein is incredibly important for post-surgery recovery. The amino acids in protein promote tissue regeneration and repair, wound healing, energy, and strength. Pasture-raised meats, free-range poultry, wild-caught fish, free-range eggs, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu, seitan, protein supplements and quinoa are fantastic protein options. To make sure that you get enough protein in your diet, you may add some protein shakes and some liquid protein. Our ProT Gold Liquid Protein is a great option because it is made from collagen protein which can help wounds heal 2x faster. 

  • Carbohydrates: Don’t forget about carbohydrates either. When it comes to carbs, it is important that you choose the right kind. Choose high-fiber, nutrient-dense carbohydrates, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. Limit refined sugar, white bread, white pasta, candy, and carbs from junk food.

  • Fats: Healthy fats may help to lower inflammation, improve immune response, increase energy, and enhance vitamin absorption during post-surgery recovery. Avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, nuts, and seeds are fantastic options. Avoid inflammatory refined oils, such as sunflower, safflower, and peanut oil, and fatty deep-fried foods.

  • Vitamins and minerals: While macronutrients, such as protein, carbs, and fats are important for post-surgery recovery, micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals are just as crucial. This is why you want to choose nutrient-dense foods instead of processed and junk food. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, some are particularly important. Vitamin A from orange and dark green vegetables, vitamin C in citrus and berries, vitamin D in fish and eggs may help to promote bone health. Zinc in beans, meat, and seafood, and iron in meat, eggs, beans, and apricots may promote wound healing and help to improve your energy. 

  • Water: Proper hydration is part of good nutrition. It is crucial for wound healing, improved energy, the absorption of medication, and your overall health. Aim to drink at least eight to ten glasses of water a day, more if you feel thirsty, sick, or live in a hot climate.

Remember, these are general guidelines. It is important that you speak with your surgery team and if available, a registered dietician for advice to ensure fast post-surgery recovery.

7. Practice a Positive Mindset

You may think that post-surgery recovery is all physical. While diet, rest, and movement are all essential for your post-surgery recovery, you can’t forget about the mind either. Your mind is more powerful than you think. 

Research has found that mindset, attitudes, and beliefs may influence post-surgery recovery. Researchers found a higher level of functioning in patients with positive pre-surgery beliefs. If changing the way you think about and talk about your post-surgery recovery could help speed up the process and put you in a better mood, it’s worth a try, right? 

This is an easy one to do. Have a positive attitude before and after surgery. Believe that you can recover. Trust yourself and trust the process. Practice overall positive thinking. 

Having a gratitude practice, spiritual practices or prayer, meditation, time in nature, journaling, and spending time with loved ones may all help to put you in a positive mood to enhance your mindset.

8. Add in Some Visualization

Let’s take things a step further. Along with a positive mindset, visualization may be something that can enhance your post-surgery recovery.

Research has shown that mental imagery and visualization may enhance recovery from spinal cord injury and help to improve sensory-motor functions. Another study has found that just imagining to work out may build muscles, albeit slower than the real deal. Immobilized participants who only pretended to flex their muscles for 11 minutes for 5 weeks actually experienced measurable improvements. 

Who said that this couldn’t be you? Of course, we are not suggesting to miss your physical therapy sessions. Nor are we saying that just imagining your recovery will get you there. However, practicing your physical therapy exercises, visualizing the same exercises, then visualizing yourself moving around pain-free may have enormous benefits.

Your Complete Post-Surgery Recovery Recipe

Your post-surgery recovery recipe is simple:

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions
  • Take care of the wound
  • Control your pain
  • Keep your follow-up appointments
  • Go to physical therapy and DO your exercises
  • Eat a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet
  • Have a positive mindset
  • Visualize your post-surgery recovery and a positive outcome

We cannot emphasize mindset and nutrition enough. These two components help you heal from the inside out - sometimes even stronger than before your surgery. 

So, don’t forget to stock up on some ProT Gold Liquid Collagen Protein to enhance your post-surgery recovery. It absorbs quickly, is premade and ready to consume as-is, is made from the medical-grade hydrolyzed collagen protein, and is formulated to improve recovery. Most importantly, according to the 3,000+ medical facilities that recommend it to patients, it works!

One of our customers used our collagen protein for multiple injuries. Here’s what she had to say:

“An outstanding product that not only delivers on its promises but exceeds all expectations. I've added ProT Gold to my daily recovery routine and I'm better than I've ever been! The torn tendons in my foot are well on their way to being fully healed AND the shoulder I put hairline fractures and multiple tears in when I stopped myself from falling off a mountain is almost fully healed!!!”

That's a powerful testament to show how liquid collagen protein can help your post-surgery recovery and recovery from injuries. Get yours today and see for yourself!