When you're under the care of a local chiropractor to help you with your back pain, you've likely heard about the importance of lifting with your legs instead of your back and of staying away from heavy objects. What you might not be thinking, however, is how small, seemingly innocent movements of your body can further complicate your back pain. It's often instinctual to bend over to pick something up or perform a routine task that you've successfully accomplished countless times -- without even considering how the movement might affect your back. When you have back pain, however, these innocent-seeming movements can be anything but. Here are five common bends and how to try to avoid them.
Flushing The Toilet
No one is suggesting that you completely abstain from flushing the toilet after use, but it's important to change your flushing approach. Bending to flush can be dangerous because it's a low bend if you're tall and because you might contort to one side to reach the flusher handle. Instead of bending and chancing further pain to your back, grab any long item in the bathroom – a roll of paper towels, for example – and use it to press the flusher without bending over.
Picking Up The Newspaper
Picking up the newspaper on your front porch is something you do without thinking about it, but this deep bend can quickly tweak your sore back. See if you can have another family member grab the paper for you. If this isn't possible, make sure to fully squat down to grab the paper and then straighten your legs to return to an upright position.
Tying Your Shoes
Bending to do up your shoes can send a shockwave of pain to your low back and negate the progress that your chiropractor has been making. Avoid this injury risk by carefully sitting down to put on your shoes. Slip-on shoes are another healthy alternative, as is having your spouse tie your shoes for you if slip-on shoes aren't possible.
Petting The Family Dog
It's easy to innocently reach to pet your family dog – and then be frozen by back pain. Try to avoid this habit until your back is feeling completely better. If you need cuddle time with your pet, carefully sit on the floor or the couch and have the pet climb onto your lap. Doing so is much safer for your back than bending over.
Grabbing A Bottom-Shelf Item At The Supermarket
When you zoom around the supermarket to pick up some groceries, your back health might be the last thing on your mind. Don't make the mistake, however, to reaching down to grab an item off the bottom shelf. Not only can this movement strain your back, but you're more at risk of an injury if the item is heavy. Shop with a family member and ask him or her to perform this type of bend for you. Contact a chiropractor, such as Dr. Jason B Kaster DC, for more information.