Optimize Health Assets

Positive Health is the term coined by Dr. Martin Seligman, Chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and inventor of "Positive Psychology". He deems that physical health has wrongfully been accepted in our culture by merely the ABSENCE of physical illness.

Even more importantly, his view is asking, "Are there positive properties - health ASSETS - that constitute an actual state of physical health?" My concrete answer is YES! Positive Surgery is the term I coined relating to outcomes of surgery with three categories of health assets: Biological (nutrition, hormone, blood work, etc.), Functional (exercise, core strength, therapy, etc), and Psychological (optimism, goal oriented, etc.). The success of your surgery is NOW 100% in YOUR hands.

Below is the emphasis of the THREE Categories of Positive Surgery, which can maximize the benefits of your surgery.

Improving your BIOLOGICAL resilience starts by providing your body with the essential, healing nutrition and learning what your body needs on the cellular level, by having any labs you were recommended to check for improvement redrawn. Taking Recovery Essentials (ProteinPrutect and Liquid VitaminD3) and Surgical Support** or similar supplements of your choice is recommended to help aid in your recovery during this critical healing time, because the effects of surgery are challenging to the body. If Dr. Carriere gave you a requisition to have follow up labs drawn, contact Cristina to schedule your lab draw on a Tuesday or Friday morning (99 Inverness Dr. East Suite #100, Englewood, CO 80112 Phone: 303.225.8120 x 4) within the timeframe he recommended. You also want to schedule your 3-month postoperative visit with your prescribing physician to evaluate the efficacy of your surgical wellness supplements and any changes to medicines he prescribed (if indicated). **Refer to the following link: Recovery Essentials and Surgical Support.

Achieving the FUNCTIONAL health asset is dependent on your diligence incorporating the appropriate activity the weeks immediately after surgery. Following through with physical therapy and the BASE protocol is imperative. Activity the 2 weeks after surgery is focused on low impact exercise and performing four exercises 2 times per day, which can include: walking, stairs, elliptical, and recumbent bike. Maintain a relaxed pace and increase distance or time each day. Your goal to WORK UP TO should be 30 minutes 2 times per day. Begin Physical Therapy after 2 weeks. At your first postoperative appointment, you will receive instructions to begin seeing your personal physical therapist or one that Dr. Prusmack's office will help you choose. Refer to the attached RMSC PT PDF to review the list of Physical Therapy providers.

Additionally, the Re-FORM phase of BASE rehabilitation protocol is a 12 week specialized spine rehabilitation regimen developed by Dr. Prusmack and his team, which is also a component of supporting your FUNCTIONAL health asset. The focus of the protocol is trunk stabilization, static core activation, and proper spine mechanics, while intentionally limiting bending, lifting, twisting (BLT) and respecting your weight restriction of less than 20lbs. Refer to attached trunk stabilization handout, which provides a general framework for your physical therapists; BASE does NOT supersede their personalized approach based on your progress, but will help universalize our expectations. BASE Re-FORM phase encourages you to set a goal for testing out of Level 2 or 3 at 3 months after surgery. Refer to the following relevant attachments to learn about post surgery progress and trunk stabilization. Also access the following links regarding other components of BASE:

There are three core components contributing to your PSYCHOLOGICAL health asset. Optimism is considered a strong psychological success proponent, which is associated with less risk of cardiovascular disease, a shorter duration of colds, and prolonged survival in cancer. Stress Management is imperative for achieving optimism. Stress after surgery impedes wound healing, causes oxidative stress, promotes infection, and muscle wasting. Managing your stress by learning the relaxation response meditation, or socializing has shown to promote healing and control pain. Dr. Prusmack recommends the following sources for learning about stress management and relaxation:

Last, but not least, maintaining a Goal Oriented mindset is key for your optimal recovery. Keeping a diary of your goals in work, recreation, and activity after your surgery can help remind you of your progress and keep you focused. Reviewing these with Dr. Prusmack and his team will help form realistic expectations and keep you on track. This has shown to improve overall surgical rehabilitation outcome.

It is imperative to your success to understand the philosophy behind pain management, which is your pain medications are meant to facilitate the completion of activities important to your healing: daily walks, physical therapy, and sleep. Think of them as an aid to do MORE not less activity. Do not try to do MORE activity and take LESS pain medications simultaneously. It is more important to be more active and do more core exercise FIRST without pain. Then, after achieving higher activity levels and therapy goals, you can wean off the medications slowly over 2-3 weeks, in order to prevent withdrawal. Patients who were on regular chronic pain medications prior to surgery for prolonged periods will get prescriptions from Dr. Prusmack's office for the first 3 months after surgery only. At the 3-month visit with Dr. Prusmack, if you are recommended to see your primary care doctor or pain management specialist, he will provide one last prescription to cover the time between your appointments. Dr. Prusmack will NOT fill any pain medications after three months.


Click the links below to view.

> Back to Dr. Prusmack's Important Information for Surgical Patients