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Q. What can I do to keep from making my pain worse?
A. Learn to move without straining your back. When getting in or out of bed, use the "log roll" technique. Roll to your side and sit up while keeping your back steady and secure. Instead of twisting your upper body when you roll to one side, try to roll your whole body as a unit, like rolling a log. When you sit or stand, try to keep your back straight and bend forward at the hips. Also, keep your back straight or use a grabber to avoid bending over at the waist to put on your socks and shoes, or to pick up items from the floor. If you must bend, try to keep your back straight and secure as you bend forward at the hip joint - not your back.
Do not test your back by trying to see how much you can lift or carry. If you must pick up or carry lighter items, squat down by bending your knees. Do not lean forward by bending at your low back. When you lift, keep the item in close to your body, even if it is light. Holding the weight out in front of you puts extra strain on your low back. Check with your doctor or physical therapist if you have any questions about the safety of lifting or carrying.