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Do’s and Don’ts with Back Pain

If you are experiencing back pain now, you are probably searching for answers. What is the best treatment for low back pain? What to do or not to do?

Your back pain can be felt while doing a number of everyday activities. You should be extra careful to avoid irritating the source of the pain. Simple movements such as sitting, standing, lifting, lying, driving a car, and even sneezing can impact your pain.

There are things you should do, as well as avoid doing during your path to recovery and things you could do to keep your back pain at a minimum.

Sitting

Do:

  • Sit as little as possible and then only for short periods.
  • Place a supportive towel roll at your low back.
  • When getting up from sitting, move to the front of the seat and stand up by straightening your legs.
  • Try to keep the normal curves in your back at all times.

Don’t:

  • Avoid sitting on a low soft couch with a deep seat. You will lose the normal curve of your back.
  • Don’t place your legs straight out in front of you while sitting. (i.e., sitting in the bathtub or in a recliner)
  • Lifting

Do:

  • Keep your back straight when lifting.
  • Stand close to the load, have a firm footing and wide stance.
  • Kneel on one knee, keeping the back straight.
  • Have a secure grip on the load and lift by straightening your knees.
  • Do a steady lift. Shift your feet to turn and do not twist your back.

Don’t:

  • Don’t jerk when you lift.
  • Avoid bending over the object you are lifting.
  • Lying

Do:

  • Sleep on a good firm surface.
  • If your bed sags, use slats or plywood supports between the mattress and base to firm it.
  • You may be more comfortable at night when you use pillows to help facilitate a more neutral spine curvature.

Don’t:

  • Do not sleep on your stomach unless advised to do so by your doctor or Physical Therapist.
  • Standing

Do:

  • If you must stand for a long period of time, alternate weight bearing on each leg.
  • Adapt work heights.

Don’t:

  • Avoid half bent positions.
  • Driving a Car

Do:

  • Drive the car as little as possible. It is better to be a passenger than to drive yourself.
  • Move the seat forward to the steering wheel. Your seat must be close enough to the wheel to keep the natural curves of your back.
  • If your hips are lower than your knees in this position, raise yourself by sitting on a pillow.
  • Use supportive towel roll at the belt of the back.

Don’t hesitate to ask us about any aches and pains you may be feeling while completing everyday tasks. Contact us for an assessment and/or physical therapy evaluation, so you can get your daily life back.


Ian Goodwin, PTA

AUTHOR

Paul Jones

Jones Physical Therapy

"We Help People Recover From Injuries Quickly And Completely Without The Use Of Medication, Shots Or Surgery So They Can Live The Active, Pain-Free Lives They Want And Deserve."

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