Getting dressed is something most people take for granted. However, if you have a back injury, the twisting, reaching, and bending motions that are usually necessary to complete the act of getting dressed can make this routine task very difficult and, in some instances, painful. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make getting dressed easier if you have a back injury.
One way to minimize bending when you’re getting dressed is to use your bed to your advantage. Do this by resting on your back as you pull up your skirt or pants. This way, your legs and hips will be doing most of the work as your back remains fairly flat and relaxed. Apply the same concept to the process of putting on your underwear and socks. If you have a difficult time with your socks and shoes, try sitting on the side of your bed and crossing one leg over the other. If you still have difficulty with socks, shoes, or stockings, there are handy aids you can purchase online so you won’t have to bend and put stress on your spine.
Having a back injury doesn’t mean you have to give up wearing the type of clothing you prefer. However, opting for clothing that doesn’t require a lot of effort to put on can be a good thing for your back as you recover from an injury or a medical procedure such as spinal fusion surgery. Los Angeles residents with back injuries might find it helpful to wear pants with an elastic waistband, preventing the need to repeatedly struggle with buttons and belts, especially when they need to use the bathroom throughout the day.
For work-related situations that involve a dress code, talk to your boss or someone in your HR department to see if a temporary exception can be made so you can wear clothing that’s a bit more casual and comfortable as you recover from your back injury. People with back pain tend to appreciate wearing comfortable clothing for the following reasons:
• It’s easy to put on and take off • It doesn’t require a lot of spine-related manipulation or movement • It’s usually less restrictive, which means less pressure on the spine and its supporting parts
You may be used to rushing to get ready in the morning, but it’s better to take your time getting dressed when you have a back injury so you don’t unintentionally make it worse. Give yourself some extra time to get dressed so you can slowly go through the steps necessary to get dressed in a way that doesn’t overstress your spine. Going slow and steady also allows you to briefly pause for a moment if you experience sudden discomfort while getting dressed. Planning ahead can also benefit you by:
• Minimizing your risk of reaggravating a back injury that’s healing • Reducing your risk of falling and sustaining an entirely new spine-related injury • Allowing you to remain relaxed so your spine-supporting muscle groups aren’t tense
If it’s still difficult for you to get dressed after trying these tips, talk to a Los Angeles spine surgeon, especially if you haven’t received an official diagnosis yet. Physical therapy may also help you reach a point where you can get dressed in a way that’s less painful and more productive as your back injury heals or improves.
If you’re recovering from a back injury or experiencing severe or chronic back pain, call on the premier spinal health experts at The Spine Institute for diagnosis and treatment. Our pioneering physicians have a wealth of experience in diagnosing and treating all types of neck and back pain. Schedule a consultation today by calling one of our friendly representatives at 310-828-7757.