I recently wrote about stretching briefly before getting out of bed in the morning; then I talked about how to safely get out of bed. Now, that business of putting on socks, pants and shoes: the reported cause of so many episodes of lower back pain.
This is about how to move. How to move properly is basic new patient stuff: what we talk about in those first half dozen or so visits. It’s about bracing, and about breathing. It’s about bending and lifting (you don’t think that you are lifting much but the mechanics are the same, and the forces in your low back when you bend to do shoes or socks would shock you. And it’s about knowing a few tricks.
Here is one trick and I know that for some folks, when I talk about the stretch or lifting you foot onto your knee while in the sitting position and putting on socks or shoes from there, it is already too late: they have lost that level of flexibility and can not do it. Sorry, that is a different level of intervention and not Blog Post stuff.
If you can grab your feet then do it sitting down; bring that foot all the way across so that you are not bent over at the low back just to deal with feet: the flexibility should be in the hip. Use the shock and shoe opportunity to stretch out the hip a little, in sitting position. And it’s the same with pants if you know putting them on standing up is a challenge (remember ‘challenge’, ‘struggle’ and easy from earlier Posts? If not search those terms.)
Most important, probably, is that just like older folks may have to ‘gather’ themselves (be mindful) when they get upright or they could fall down faster than they got up, it is important for you to be paying attention to each step in the process and move deliberately.