Caring for Someone with Back Pain

Caring for Someone with Back Pain

If a family member or you have someone who suffers from back pain there are ways to make their daily living activities easier for them to accomplish.  As humans we do a lot of bending, lifting, stooping and stretching during the day.  If your family member or you don’t realize until you have back pain how difficult these daily tasks can be.  Rearranging the home can be a time saver, and make these tasks simpler and less of a strain on the back.

Here are some tips to make these chores and activities easier for you:

  • Move frequently used items to chest height.  Dishes, cups, the coffee pot, and glasses should be easy to reach without stretching.  Toiletries should be at a comfortable level in the bathroom, to avoid bending or reaching the items.  Have the shelves and cabinets adjusted to a level for a more favorable height.
  • Make sure the furniture is back friendly.  Everyone has that special chair we favor, by using pillows designed for back support, they keep our posture correct, with no slouching.
  • Try to limit the use of stairs if possible.  Stairs can become difficult to walk up when you have back pain.  If possible locate your bedroom to a downstairs room to save your family member or yourself from the added strain of climbing stairs.
  • People like to be useful, even when they suffer from a condition which slows them down.  Allow your family member to choose a few chores they can do such as-cooking, paying the bills, setting the table, etc.  Leave the mopping, taking out the trash and vacuuming to some else.
  • Avoid a job which requires lifting, bending, crouching or moving a heavy object, such as furniture, cleaning out the basement, or a closet.  Hire someone or ask a friend to assist you with these chores or do them for you.
  • Minimize driving-Driving can be difficult when you have a back condition or it can cause back problems, due to sitting for long periods of time.  Decrease your trips to the store to once each week, shop on the internet or have someone run errands for you while they do theirs.
  • Don’t become totally inactive-go for a walk with a friend or family member, do light gardening,  use a treadmill on slow, or do gentle exercises to keep your body flexible and fit.  Always ask your physician what activities are right for you, before you begin a new activity.  Yet, inactivity can make the condition much more painful and increase the inflammation, so find out what is permissible before you start.

Back pain can limit your activities, but asking for some help while you are recuperating is both wise and beneficial for your recovery.  Asking for assistance doesn’t make you weak or useless instead it will get back on your feet faster if you take care of yourself first.  Then you can get back into life and enjoy it!

Barbara Lucore

I have been a nurse for 15+ years and as a nurse I understand how to prevent back strain and pain. The correct ways to lift objects, the causes of back pain, treatments available, the exercises to reduce or prevent back pain and the proper ways to move without strain or injury to your back.