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After Back Surgery: Tips for Daily Living

These tips can help make some tasks easier, and will help protect your back.

Getting dressed

Putting on and taking off socks, slacks, and underwear may be easier to do lying on your back. A tool called a dressing reacher can be of help. To make dressing and undressing easier, wear loose clothes and slip-on shoes with closed backs. You may want to have someone help you dress and undress.

Getting ready to lie down

Before you lie down, make sure that you have the things you need within reach. Gather items such as medications, eyeglasses, reading material, and other things you may want. Be sure to place them so you won’t have to twist your back to reach them. If you aren’t able to gather the items yourself, ask a family member or friend to help.

Man standing at sink brushing teeth with back straight, bending slightly at hips. Washing at the sink

While standing at the sink, bend your knees and hips. Keep your back in a neutral position.

Showering

Use a hand-held shower to wash your hair. Or bend at the knees and hips under the shower head to avoid arching your back. To avoid bending, use a long-handled scrub brush. Use liquid soap so you don’t need to pick up a dropped bar of soap.

Eating

Slide your chair as far under the table as possible. Don’t lean forward or put your elbows on the table.

Using the toilet

Try using a toilet seat riser or portable commode. You can buy these at a drugstore or medical supply store.

 

Online Medical Reviewer: Gilner, Leon I, MD, FACS
Online Medical Reviewer: Ma, C Benjamin, MD
Last Review Date: 3/21/2012
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