Low back pain sufferers know that even the simplest movements can be troublesome.
The following suggestions will help make potentially painful activities more manageable.
Arising from a Chair
The simple act of arising from a chair improperly can irritate your low back. The following technique will minimize strain when you stand up:
- First, slide forward so that only your tailbone is on the front of the chair.
- Spread your feet slightly more than shoulder width.
- Lean forward, but be sure not to bend your back, as you tighten your abdominal muscles.
- Thrust your hips forward and stand up.
- When available, use armrests to help push up.
Getting In and Out of Your Vehicle
Entering and exiting your vehicle is another potential risky activity for low back pain sufferers. Follow these tips to help alleviate problems:
- When entering the vehicle, open the door and stand with your back to the seat, legs close to the side of the vehicle. For larger vehicles, you may wish to begin by standing on the running board. Place your hands on the door and doorframe to keep your movements slow and controlled then slowly lower your body into the vehicle.
- Tuck your head into the vehicle. Keep your knees close to each other (as though they have been taped together), brace your abdomen (as if you are about to be punched in the stomach), and pivot your body as a whole without twisting or bending at the waist. You may grasp the steering wheel with your right hand to help you pivot.
- Use a lumbar roll or other support to help maintain good posture. Position the roll slightly above your belt to support the “small of your back”. Adjust your seat so that your knees are slightly lower than your hips. And when possible, try to avoid prolonged car rides- take frequent breaks.
- Prior to exiting, create adequate space by pushing your vehicle seat back as far as possible and move the steering wheel up and out of the way. To exit, first scoot slightly to the door side edge of your seat, then keep your knees together and pivot with the same cautions that you used to enter the vehicle. When your feet are shoulder width apart and firmly on the ground or running board, grasp the door and doorframe and lean forward. Be sure not to bend your back, as you tighten your abdominal muscles, and slowly thrust your hips forward to stand up.
Getting In and Out of Bed
Start and end your day more comfortably with the following technique:
- When lying down, sit on the edge of the bed, pull your arms to your sides and tilt your body into the bed, maintaining the bend of your knees at 45 degrees. Finally, bring your feet into in a resting position or roll onto your back.
- To get up, start from a side-lying position with your knees bent, push your body upright into a sitting position, and swinging your legs over the edge of the bed as you rise.
Be mindful of your posture throughout your day no matter if you’re standing, sitting, or moving. Practice these techniques until they become habits. Your back will thank you!