Caregiver sitting can lead to low back pain

March 24, 2008 by  
Filed under Archives, News

I am back. Yea. For the first time since my aunt died and drove my last 14 hour trip from WA, I believe I am beating my depression and fatigue. Over the last 3 days, I have worked in my garden for 5-6 hour stints. I have gotten up by 8:00am every morning. I haven’t felt this alive for 10 months. But after crawling on my hands and knees putting 15 lbs of organic fertilizer on my hedges, roses, and other plants, I can barely straighten up. Prior to my primary caregiving where I spent most of my time sitting with my aunt or driving 14 hours one way, if I had done the same type of work I would have had some back pain the next morning but it would subside by the afternoon. This is not going away. As a physical education professor, I know that the sitting too much, the lifting, twisting, and turning associated with caregiving could impact muscle tightness, posture leading to low back pain. But stress can also lead to low pack pain as illustrated in an article in Family of Love Ones Magazine.com. The Revolution Health Website provides suggestions for ways to minimize the impact of the sitting, lifting, and twisting one does while caregiving. Another good site that gives specific ways to lift, move, and transport your care receiver is that of Changi Hospital. I highly recommend that during your caregiving hours you practice the following guidelines of Spine Universe. After reading all of the suggestions, you might say, “I don’t have time. I don’t think about it.” But if you are in pain, you will not be able to be as effective in helping your care receiver move about, nor will you will be able to maintain a positive upbeat attitude when trying to shore up the emotions of your care receiver. And as I have found out, after you are done caregiving, you may be unable to handle your everyday chores and enjoy those things you love to do like garden, hike, pickup your children, grandchildren, or just sit and watch the sunset without chronic pain. Besides the chiropractor and massage therapist, I am going to consult with a pilates instructor who is trained as a physical therapist. Wish me luck. I still want to climb Mt Rainier in August and right now I can barely get off the couch. Help others and let us know how you have managed your back pain. But hey, I am making my way back emotionally. That is a great start. Just in time to start moving into the role of caring for my aging parents. I will be much more prepared this time.

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