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Spinal trouble? It’s a right pain in the back!

back pain
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Back pain is a serious thing and it can strike you at any time. Sitting in a wheelchair doesn’t make you immune from such troubles with your spine, in fact, it can often impact problems and make things worse. Everyone understands the importance of stretching, so without having the opportunity to do so, you’re sure to be in a world of pain at least once or twice in your life.  

Fear-no-more though dear readers as I am here to offer some practical advice from the perspective of a fellow wheelchair user who often suffers from such aches and complaints! So without further ado, let’s get into it with a rundown!  

 

  1.  Stretching

It’s fairly common knowledge that remaining in a seated position at all times is not good for the body and neither is it good for the skeletal system of your spine. It’s not so uncommon to see those who are paraplegics, opting to use standing frames every once in a while, just to stretch everything out and get the blood to vital organs flowing. But what if like me you’re unable to use a standing frame? Well, you can achieve very similar results from merely stretching in whatever way you know how. For example, I like to do some morning stretches whilst still in bed, and this way I am as close to replicating standing as possible as I’m elongated much more than I am when sitting in my wheelchair. Taking time to stretch can really have a positive impact on any back problems you may be facing.  

 

  1.  Posture

I feel like this point goes without saying. If you’re continuously sat in a slouched position then obviously this is going to impact on your back and cause aches and pains along the way. It’s important to take note of how you sit in your wheelchair – to ensure that you’re not forcing too much stress on your spine. There is lots of advice out there on the internet detailing which position is best for you to be sitting in. I suggest doing a little research and ensuring you take note. For me, I’ve had some issues with my back in the past from simply sitting on my wallet too often. Having on half of my backside raised higher than the other had a major knock on effect on how my spine was positioned.  

For another great article on posture and the importance of a foot rest on a wheelchair – check out the Invacare blog!

 

  1.  Maintaining a healthy diet

This point is true for just about anything in life, and so too is it true when it comes to preventing pains – non more so than in your back. Foods that are high in fiber or contain lots of natural fish oils are generally good for back pain and other joint issues. Sugar is a natural anti-inflammatory, but I wouldn’t personally advise on eating too much sugar – you’re not getting away with all your cakes that easily!  

 

To sum up…

Of course there are many things to consider when dealing with back pain, and your doctor may want to put you on a course of medication to help relieve any pains you might be dealing with. The above suggestions are purely based upon my own personal experiences, and I hope that they can in some way help you if you’re going through something similar. Let us know what has worked for you in the past and maybe we can together provide suggestions for those who are still battling with such chronic pain.  

 

Author: Anthony Tipling-Bower

 

 

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