Controlling Back Pain

Below are some simple ways you can modify your activities to help control your pain.

Ways to help your pain Things that may increase your pain

Lifting

Plan your lift!
Know your own strength and limitations and only lift what you can handle.  If you are not confident don’t do it.  Do not reach and twist with the weight away from the body.  Always lift and carry close to your body.  Bend your knees and your back when you lift.  Don’t twist your back – turn your feet.  Share the load by bracing with your elbows against your knees or on other adjacent objects that are solid.

Lifting without thinking

Sitting

Use a firm, upright chair
Try placing a folded towel in the small of your back
Get up and stretch every 20-30 minutes

A low, soft chair
Lack of back support
Sitting for prolonged periods

Standing

Try putting one foot on a low box or stool
Have your working surface at a comfortable height
Standing on a shock absorbent mat may also decrease discomfort

Long periods in one position

Driving

Adjust your seat from time to time
Try placing a folded towel in the small of your back

Long drives without taking a break

Activity

Develop a routine of daily activity
Walk, swim or cycle for 20 - 30 minutes every day
Gradually increase your involvement in physical activity

Sitting around and being inactive all day
Not exercising and being unfit

Sleeping

Some people prefer a firm mattress, but the best one is one that is comfortable for you
You may try placing boards beneath your mattress rather than going out to buy a new mattress

Do not stay in bed too long when you are awake

Relax

Learn how to reduce stress
Use relaxation techniques

Worry and being tense