Daily Activities with Low Back Pain

Start the Day With Gentle Activity

Slow, gentle activity in the morning can help wake up tired muscles and stiff joints. Deep, relaxed breathing when you wake up may also be helpful. But certain moves aren’t recommended if you have back pain — ask your physio what’s best for you.

Wear Custom Orthotics

To help keep your back feeling healthy, choose comfortable, wear custom orthotics not generic orthotics. This helps protect your back, hips, and knees.

Start Exercise Gradually

Exercise is a great way to keep your back healthy. But if you’ve been inactive for a while, start slowly. Begin with a low-impact exercise such as walking, stationary biking, or swimming for about 30 minutes a day. Adding gentle stretching or yoga may also help your muscles.

Sit Comfortably

If your job requires you to sit for long periods, make sure your chair has a straight back, an adjustable seat, and armrests. Some people prefer more lumbar support than others, says Rao. If you need extra support, place a rolled towel behind the lower part of your back. Resting your feet on a low stool can also help ease back pain when sitting.

Work Ergonomically

If you spend most of your day at a computer, your work station can affect your back’s health. You shouldn’t have to lean forward to reach your keyboard or see your monitor. You should also adjust your computer screen so it is just at or below eye level.

Take a Break

If you do a lot of sitting or standing during the day, take a break every so often to move around. Just a short walk around the house or office can help relieve tight joints and muscles. You can also try doing some gentle stretches.

Stand Smart

Standing for long periods can be stressful on your lower back. If you have to stand for work, try placing one foot on a stool or other low object. Then change feet every so often. 

This will help take the pressure off your lower back. Wearing custom orhotics can also help relieve pressure when you have to stand for long hours.

Learn to Lift Properly

Lifting children and other heavy objects is a common source of back pain. Follow these tips to protect your back:

Get close to the object you’re lifting. Keep your elbows as close to your trunk as possible, trying not to reach your arms away from your body.

Bend your knees and lift with your legs and stomach muscles.

Don’t twist as you lift.

Adjust Your Driving Position

Driving long distances can put a strain on your low back. Follow these tips to help keep your back feeling good, even on the longest trips.

Move your seat forward so you don’t have to bend to reach the steering wheel.

Put a rolled towel, small pillow, or other lumbar support behind your lower back.

Take a break every hour on long trips to get out of the car and walk around.

Know What Exercises to Avoid

If you’ve had a back injury or are dealing with certain back conditions, there may be some exercises that you shouldn’t do at all until your doctor/physical therapist gives approval. 

These may include contact sports, racket sports, golf, weight lifting, dancing, jogging, and sit-ups. Your physical therapist may also advise against doing leg lifts while lying on your stomach. A

Always ask your trusted physical therapist about any other specific exercises you should avoid.

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