To ensure you live a pain-free and healthy lifestyle, here are several tips to incorporate into daily life. Simple tweaks throughout the day go a long way towards a healthier, happier body.
- Take Frequent Breaks: Change positions regularly to give your muscles the rest needed to support you better when you return. If you’re sitting, stand up. If you’re bending over, stand and arch backward. A 60 second break every 20 minutes is ideal. Walk 30-minutes briskly on a flat surface. It is important to keep your body’s circulation working well. This helps to increase healing. If pain arises take breaks as needed.
- Apply ice: Should your pain become severe, apply ice to the area for 10 minutes. Do not put directly on the skin.
- Do not sit longer than 15 consecutive minutes.
- Use foot ease, curb, etc. to rest one leg during prolonged standing to lower pressure on your back.
- Sleep on your side with pillows below the knees or on back with pillows under your knees.
- Move little and often. You may not feel the effects of what you are doing until later in the day or after you have gone to bed.
- Avoid heavy lifting or pushing if suffering from low back pain.
- When dressing, be sure to sit as you put on clothes such as pants and socks. “Begin by pulling the article of clothing over your feet, then stand to pull remaining way. Do not attempt to place legs in pants, or skirts while standing. This risks balance and can ultimately lead to a fall.
- If suffering from knee pain, climb stairs one step at a time, step up onto one step with your best leg and then bring your other leg to meet it. Repeat with each step.
Women and Pregnancy:
- Performing regular pelvic floor exercises and lower abdominal exercises can help to reduce the strain of the pregnancy on your pelvis. To perform a safe and easy lower abdominal exercise, get down onto your hands and knees and level your back so that it is roughly flat. Breathe in and then as you breathe out, perform a pelvic floor exercise and at the same time pull your belly button in and up. Hold this contraction for 5-10 seconds without holding your breath and without moving your back. Relax the muscles slowly at the end of the exercise.
- Use a pillow between your legs when sleeping; body pillows are a great investment!
- Use a pillow under your ‘bump’ (pregnancy tummy) when sleeping.
- Keep your legs and hips as parallel/symmetrical as possible when moving or turning in bed.
- Some women also find it helpful to have their partners stabilize their hips and hold them ‘together’ when rolling over in bed or otherwise adjusting position.