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After Back Surgery: More Tips for Daily Living

Getting back to your daily routine means taking care to protect your back. These tips can help you.

Grocery shopping

Buy small amounts of groceries each time. Ask the checker to bag lightly and to use bags with handles. Put the shopping bags on the car seat, not in the trunk or on the floor.

Man carrying groceries in bags with handles.

Child care

If you have small children, arrange for help while you’re recovering. Put the changing table on a raised surface, or adjust it to waist height. Use a reacher to pick up small objects, such as toys, from the floor. If you must lift a baby from a crib, lower the railing of the crib. Bring the child close to your body.

Working in the kitchen

Store food and tools you use often on the counters or the middle shelves of the refrigerator. While working, stand with one foot in front of the other or resting on a stool.

Driving or riding in a car

Adjust the car seat so that your knees are level with or just below your hips. To get out of the car, pivot on your buttocks and swing your legs out, keeping your knees together. Don’t twist your spine. Use your leg muscles to stand. To get into the car, do the reverse. Don't drive the car if you are taking pain medicine or any medicine that could cloud your mind, make you drowsy, or affect your judgement.

Doing desk work

When you’re ready to go back to work, ask your physical therapist how to arrange your desk and workspace to protect your back. Use a chair with good back support.

Intimacy

Ask your doctor or physical therapist how soon it’s safe for you to have sex. Side-lying positions may be more comfortable. If you lie on your back, support your neck and knees with pillows. Don't arch your back. Also, don't shift the position of your spine too rapidly. Take it easy, and see what works for you and your partner.

Online Medical Reviewer: Jasmin, Luc, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Sather, Rita, RN
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2018
© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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Click here for more info on Coronavirus (COVID-19), vaccines, and visitor restrictions.
Click here for more info on Coronavirus (COVID-19), vaccines, and visitor restrictions.
 
Kettering Health Network (ketteringhealth.org)
Kettering Health Network Logo
Kettering Health Network Logo
Follow FaceBookFollow YouTubeFollow TwitterFollow LinkedInShare

Find a PhysicianPatients & Visitors
Health ServicesDirections
JobsContact Us
Health LibraryHealth Calendar

Pay My Bill

View your statement
and pay your bill online.

Estimate My Bill

Estimate your out-of-pocket
costs for a procedure or visit.

Sign In to MyChart

Access test results and
manage your appointments.

Diseases & Conditions

Get details on symptoms, causes, and treatment options plus related articles, videos & more.