DON’T OVER DO IT! Avoid bending, twisting and lifting until advised. This includes housework and DIY! Adhere to any exercises given, avoid other non essential activities. Gentle walking generally is okay. Discuss with your chiropractor what you would like to do before undertaking new activities or returning to existing hobbies.
Avoid prolonged periods in bed as this could weaken muscles and stiffen joints. Generally sleeping on your stomach can aggravate but if a specific position feels more comfortable to you then it is likely to be okay for you. When getting out of bed, if you are struggling move to the edge, roll onto your side and sit up pushing with your arms and swinging the legs off the side of the bed. Try not do a ‘sit-up’.
When driving, we suggest pushing your bottom well back into the seat and sit with your back at 110°-120° angle to your legs, with good lumbar support. If your car does not have good lumbar support use a rolled up towel as if you were going swimming and place it in the small of your back. Ensure that your driving position allows your shoulders to be relaxed, your knees to be supported but slightly bent when your feet are on the pedals. Avoid long drives without a break. When you break don’t sit, move around for about ten minutes.
Generally avoid hot water bottles, long baths, heat lamps, hot rubs and heating balms etc. unless specifically advised by your chiropractor to do so. Heat can ease discomfort, but may delay recovery as it could lead to more swelling in the area – you wouldn’t put a heat pack on a twisted ankle would you? Try to stick to showers for hygiene. If you have a bath don’t spend much time wallowing!
Ice can help reduce inflammation and can temporarily numb the pain. Apply an ice pack (a bag of peas in a piece of kitchen paper is fine) to the areas that hurt or have been treated for up to 15 minutes. Try to do this frequently. Five to ten minutes every 2 hours for the first week or two of treatment can benefit you and whenever you are sore after that. Apply it either walking, sitting or when lying on your back with your knees bent.
When resting, you may find lying on a sofa with your knees bent and your back propped up, a comfortable position. Avoid slouching on the settee. Avoid sitting ‘too upright’ as this increases the pressure on your back. Get up and walk about every half hour or so.
If you are not in too much pain try to have a short walk (a few minutes) after treatment before you get back into your car. This helps to avoid you possibly undoing any treatment. Keep moving about during the day, take short walks from your house/place of work as this can prevent you from becoming stiff or your muscles from ‘locking up’. Do not over do it! Don’t walk too far afield because you have to walk to get back!