GREETINGS FROM YOUR PARISH NURSE LOW BACK PAIN: PREVENTION
AND RELIEF FROM PAIN
As I thought about what to prepare for October's Crier
message today, I am experiencing an episode of lower back pain. Probably from
twisting while reaching for something. I thought well maybe this is a good time
to repeat this message about low back pain from 2013. Low back pain is one of
the most common reasons people miss time from work or their usual activities.
There are many things that can cause low back injuries, such as, muscle strain,
sprains and disc problems such as a herniated disc. The most common reason for
lower back injuries is using your back muscles in activities you’re not used
to, such as, lifting heavy furniture, shoveling snow or doing yard work.
What can you do for pain relief when you’ve hurt your lower
The best position for relief of pain is to lie on your back
on the floor with pillows under your knees, with your hips and knees bent. This
takes the pressure and weight off your back. What else can you do for pain
relief? Heating pads can help to relax painful muscle spasms. You can also
alternate heat with ice packs to reduce pain. Use heat for 20 minutes, then ice
for 20 minutes a few times a day. Massage may also provide relief.
What exercises can you do to strengthen your back?
There are some specific exercises that can help your back.
You may want to consult with your doctor, chiropractor or a physical therapist
for advice. One exercise is to gently stretch your back muscles. To do this lie
on your back with your knees bent and slowly raise your left knee to your
chest. Press your lower back against the floor. Hold for 5 seconds. Relax and
repeat the exercise with your right knee. Gradually increase up to 10
repetitions of this exercise for each leg.
Tips for preventing back injuries.
Don’t lift by bending over. Lift an object by bending your
hips and knees and then squatting to pick up the object. Keep your back straight
and hold the object close to your body. Avoid twisting your body while lifting.
Push rather than pull when moving heavy objects. If you must sit at a desk or
the wheel of a car or truck for long hours, break up the time with stops to
stretch. Stretch and warm up before going out to shovel snow. When shoveling
snow lift smaller loads of snow rather than heavy shovelfuls. Exercise
regularly. An inactive lifestyle contributes to lower back pain.
Call your family doctor if:
Pain goes down your leg below your knee. Your leg, foot,
groin or rectal area feels numb. You lose control over going to the bathroom.
Your pain is so intense you can’t move around. Your pain doesn’t seem to be
getting better after 2 to 3 weeks.
I hope the above information is useful. If you have any
questions about the article or other health concerns contact Cheryl Letendre
RN, Parish Nurse at (H) 860-537-6516 or (C) 860-334- 3342.
Don't forget to get your flu shot on Sunday, 10/15. The Flu
clinic will be in the gym from 9:00 to 10:30 am. Jeffry Abule From Walgreen's
Pharmacy will be there to administer the flu vaccine. Please see the message
about the flu clinic in the Church Bulletin and the Crier.
October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please
remember to schedule your mammogram and to perform your monthly self breast