Many people relate back pain with over working, sitting in a bad chair at work, taking a misstep, or some other incident that tweaks the back. But how many of you start your day with back pain? Let’s start the day out right.
When you wake up in the morning, do you feel relaxed and ready for the day or do you feel stiff, sore and suffering from morning back pain? Too many people sleep in a bed that is not friendly to their back. Either it is too firm or soft, the suspension and support system built into the mattress is broke down from too many years of use, these conditions could also be causing you to sleeping in a position that isn’t good for your back. If you suspect that you mattress is too soft you may have considered using a piece of plywood under it to firm it up. This is good in theory but in reality, the springs and padding between you and the plywood take up too much space making this a useless act.
Before you get out of bed, do some stretching to start the blood and oxygen flowing into your muscles so they start to “wake up”. When you get out of bed do you sit up straight and then turn to get out of bed? This can cause undue stress to your lower back and cause low back pain. Try using the logroll technique to get out of bed. First turn to the side of the bed you are going to get out of; then, bring your knees towards your chest until they are at about 90 degrees to your body; hang your feet over the side of the bed; then push yourself up into a sitting position and place your feet on the floor. This will take a lot of the stress off your back. Once your feet are on the floor, stretch some more. Get that blood flowing so your body can wake up a little more before you stand up and head to the bathroom.
There are a couple of ways that we put undue stress on our back in the bathroom.
First there is the toilet. When you are sitting on the toilet there is the tendency to hunch forward. This causes a lot of stress on the low back and neck that can aggravate your back pain. When you stand or sit on the throne, try placing one hand on your thigh for support, if the lay out of your bathroom is such that you can also place a hand on the counter for support at the same time, all the better. Where is that roll of toilet paper? In many cases it is behind you hanging from the wall causing you to twist and bend backwards to reach it. Consider moving the location of the roll so it is in front of you. If you already suffer from chronic back pain, you may want to consider a raised seat, purchased from your local medical supply store or even going so far as raising the toilet to a more comfortable height. If you are one that likes to read while on the toilet, you may want to consider a different place to sit and read. Reading is good for the brain but the inevitable hunched over position that you will be in while reading isn’t good for the back.
Now that the first order of business is taken care of it’s time to brush the teeth and shave. Yes these morning rituals can cause and aggravate low back and neck pain.
The next time you are in front of the sink brushing your teeth, take a moment to see how you are standing. Are you standing straight and tall, or are you like most and hunched over the sink so you won’t drool tooth paste on yourself. The same goes for shaving. Most times we are leaning into our work so we can get a better look at what we are doing. To help prevent back pain caused by leaning over the sink, place your free hand on the counter or edge of the sink to help support some of the weight of your upper body so the stress on your low back is reduced and as a result easing your back pain.
Now with the morning bathroom ritual complete, it’s time to get dressed.
When you are putting on your socks do you lean over and put your socks on? A better method would be to bring your knee to your chest or even place your heal on the edge of the bed and then put your sock on. The same method can be used for putting on your pants. Bring your knee to your chest put that foot into the leg of the pants and then repeating the process with the other leg. Once both feet are in, stand up and pull your pants up the rest of the way. If you wear a belt, don’t buckle it too tight as this places undue stress on the low back and can cause back pain.
We put our backs through enough stress and hazards during our regular work day. Why should we put ourselves in a position that may aggravate or cause back pain, when by just by making a few minor changes in how we get out of bed and get ready for the day, we can prevent back pain.