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After Back Surgery: More Tips for Daily Living

Getting back to your daily routine means taking care to protect your back. These tips can help you.

Woman carrying shopping bags by handles, two bags hanging from each hand. Grocery shopping

Buy small amounts of groceries each time. Ask the checker to bag lightly and to use bags with handles. Put the shopping bags on the car seat, not in the trunk or on the floor.

Child care

If you have small children, arrange for help while you’re recovering. Put the changing table on a raised surface, or adjust it to waist height. Use a reacher to pick up small objects, such as toys, from the floor. If you must lift a baby from a crib, lower the railing of the crib. Bring the child close to your body.

Working in the kitchen

Store food and tools you use often on the counters or the middle shelves of the refrigerator. While working, stand with one foot in front of the other or resting on a stool.

Driving or riding in a car

Adjust the car seat so that your knees are level with or just below your hips. To get out of the car, pivot on your buttocks and swing your legs out, keeping your knees together. Don’t twist your spine. Use your leg muscles to stand. To get into the car, do the reverse.

Doing desk work

When you’re ready to go back to work, ask your physical therapist how to arrange your desk and workspace to protect your back. Use a chair with good back support.

Intimacy

Ask your doctor or physical therapist how soon it’s safe for you to have sex. Side-lying positions may be more comfortable. If you lie on your back, support your neck and knees with pillows. Avoid arching your back. Also, avoid shifting the position of your spine too rapidly. Take it easy, and see what works for you and your partner.

Online Medical Reviewer: Gilner, Leon I, MD, FACS
Online Medical Reviewer: Ma, C Benjamin, MD
Last Review Date: 3/21/2012
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.