If you have sustained a back injury that requires surgery, your doctor will tell you what to expect during your spinal compression recovery period. While following your doctor's instructions can help ensure that you enjoy an uneventful recovery, there are certain things that may slow your healing progression. Here are three things that may complicate your post-operative healing phase and what you can do about them:

Smoking Cigarettes

The toxins and chemicals in cigarette smoke can impair your circulation and diminish blood flow to your surgical site. Cigarette smoking can also damage your capillaries, which can dramatically impair the healing process. If you are anticipating spinal compression surgery, try to quit smoking prior to your procedure day.

If you are unable to kick the habit on your own, talk to your doctor about recommending effective smoking cessation methods so that your body and circulation are optimal when it comes time for your operation. If you can't quit smoking completely, at least try cutting down a bit before and after your surgery. 


While allergies can cause a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes, they can also lead to a systemic inflammatory response. When this happens, the tissue and other structures surrounding your surgical wound may be slow to heal and may even lead to an increased risk for infection.

If you have seasonal allergies, make sure to take your prescribed allergy medications and keep your doors and windows closed when pollen, mold, and ragweed counts are high outside. If you are allergic to pet dander and have a dog, have your animal bathed and groomed prior to having your surgery to cut down on allergens and outdoor pollen that may be hiding in its fur. 

Skimping On Dental Hygiene

After undergoing surgery, you may not feel up to maintaining a meticulous oral hygiene routine, however, doing so is very important. Like with allergies, poor dental hygiene can lead to systemic inflammation, which can delay your healing and raise your risk for infection.

If you are too weak or in too much pain to effectively brush and floss your teeth after your surgery, at least swish your mouth out with an antiseptic mouthwash to help cut down on oral bacteria. After you are fully recovered, make an appointment with your dentist for a complete examination and professional dental cleaning. 

If you notice an increase in pain, swelling, or bleeding after your spinal compression surgery, call your doctor as soon as possible because these may be signs of infection or delayed healing. The sooner problems are recognized and addressed, the more likely you are to enjoy a speedy recovery. For more information, visit websites like http://swfna.com.