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.
Current as of: March 2, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Joan Rigg PT, OCS - Physical Therapy