Ask the Nurse

After working in my garden for a few hours, I am experiencing pain in my lower back. I do not take any prescribed drugs, but should I ask my doctor for a muscle relaxer? I do lie down and put my feet flat on the floor, which helps ease the pain. After several days of rest, I start to feel better, but I do need to work in my garden again.

I recommend that you see your primary physician for your back pain. Also, working on good posture as well as back and core strengthening exercises should help ease your back pain. The McKenzie Method exercises are great for strengthening your back.

Also, below are proper posture practices that can help you obtain a healthy back:

  1. Sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back. Your buttocks should touch the back of your chair.
  2. The three normal back curves should be present while sitting. A small, rolled-up towel or a lumbar roll can be used to help you maintain the normal curves in your back. Here’s how to find a good sitting position when you’re not using a back support or lumbar roll:
    • Sit at the end of your chair and slouch completely.
    • Draw yourself up and accentuate the curve of your back as far as possible. Hold for a few seconds.
    • Release the position slightly (about 10 degrees). This is a good sitting posture.
  3. Distribute your body weight evenly on both hips.
  4. Bend your knees at a right angle. Keep your knees even with or slightly higher than your hips. (Use a foot rest or stool if necessary.) Your legs should not be crossed.
  5. At work, adjust your chair height and work station so you can sit up close to your work and tilt it up at you. Rest your elbows and arms on your chair or desk, keeping your shoulders relaxed.
  6. When sitting in a chair that rolls and pivots, don’t twist at the waist while sitting. Instead, turn your whole body.

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

May 7, 2013 at 10:57am