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Low Back Pain: Easing Back Into Your Daily Activities - Topic Overview

Bed rest of more than a couple of days can actually make your low back pain worse and lead to other problems such as stiff joints and muscle weakness. If you do use bed rest for a short time, remember the following guidelines.

  • Sitting up in bed puts additional pressure on the intervertebral discs. Lying on your side puts a little more pressure on the discs than lying on your back.
  • Trying to eat a meal in bed can be awkward and can put more strain on your back than if you get up and eat at a table.

Avoid activities that make your pain worse. Modify activities that you cannot avoid doing. Here are some tips:

  • Place one foot on a stool when standing for an activity such as brushing your teeth.
  • When putting on pants or stockings, stand with your back against a wall. Then slide your shoulders down the wall as you bend your knees. Gently step into your pants or stockings, one leg at a time.

Return to your normal activity gradually but as soon as possible. Start with walking 10 to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: February 15, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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