Bed rest may help with acute pain, but it can also lead to further bone loss and worsening osteoporosis, which raises your risk for future compression fractures. Doctors may recommend a short period of bed rest for no more than a few days. However, prolonged inactivity should be avoided.
Having the correct posture while sitting, standing and sleeping is an important part of keeping your back pain-free.
While sitting, make sure your lower back is getting enough support. If possible, you should have an ergonomically designed chair for your office. Otherwise, try placing a pillow or rolled up towel behind your lower back to keep you upright and prevent slouching.
If you sit for long periods of time, get up to walk around about every hour. Even if you’re driving, stop as often as possible to stretch. If you stand all day, have a small stool handy to prop up one foot at a time. If possible, lean against a wall or counter.
Lying on your back with a small pillow under your knees is the ideal sleeping position. If that is uncomfortable, try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees.
A few important tips when lifting or moving a load:
- When bending down, always bend at the knees--never at the waist.
- Keep the object close to your body.
- Don’t twist your body.
- Avoid lifting over your head or over an obstruction.
- When lifting a heavy object below chest level, always tighten your abdomen muscles to place less of the load on your spine.
- When moving a heavy object, push it instead of pulling it.
- Whenever possible, use a cart to carry your luggage.
Simple stretches throughout the day can help make your back more flexible and strong. Stretches should not be painful or increase your blood pressure. Ask your physician or therapist for stretches to relieve your specific symptoms and increase your flexibility.