Daily struggles with a bad back

When you have a bad back you often think that it’s the big things that you should be paying attention to. People tell you not to lift things that are too heavy. When you are lifting make sure that you bend at the knees and follow ‘proper lifting techniques’. However there are also simple things for example that can cause problems. If we’ve gone for a walk and the children are scootering behind me I can’t simply twist round and see them whilst I’m still walking. I did this once and apparently my back no longer moves this way! Instead I have to stop turn around and then usually shout whatever directions at them that I hope they’ll follow.

There are other every day activities I find really difficult that most people probably wouldn’t realise. I wonder how many of you that read this can relate.


In our house I’m in charging of washing and ironing and hubby is in charge of cooking. Seems like a fair deal to me. I’ve noticed over the last couple of weeks that ironing is becoming more and more painful. Usually I’m not very organised and before I know if there are four loads to be done. I was discussing this with my physio as I can be stood there for 1-2 hours swaying backwards and forwards with the iron. At the end of it my back is screaming as I notice that when I’m there I’m not standing with my weight spread equally but rather weight bearing on my left the whole time.

Some suggestions to help:

  • Do a load of ironing as soon as it’s ready and not pile it all up. I’m trying to do this but something more important always crops up, like coffee with friends.
  • Iron wearing supportive shoes, I wear my trainers rather than bare feet. this means my orthotics keep my feet in the right place and help me stand up straight.
  • Use a little step under the foot you are swaying on too. This will even up your back and pelvis, and stop pressure on one side. You can use something simple like a catalogue or kids step if you want a higher position.

Making the beds

I find this a real struggle and it’s only getting harder. It’s a nightmare getting the fitted sheet around our king size mattress, I have to lean over the edge of the bedside table and fight against the headboard to get it on. Also when I’m trying to shake the duvet into the cover this really hurts my back and pulls it forward. I’ve had to get my husband to do this , each week when I wash our sheets I make sure that he’ll be home to make the bed for me.

The kids beds aren’t too bad as it’s only a single mattress I have to deal with. I still have to lean over to tuck in the sheets but their mattresses are much lighter to lift and manoeuvre than mine. I also get the kids involved in stripping and making their beds. They are 8 & 9 now and I think it’s good for them to help around the house.

Food Shopping

This one is top of my list, pushing a shopping trolley around a supermarket is too much for my back. You wouldn’t think this would be a problem but going around the corners with a full heavy trolley is really difficult. I also seem to always pick the trolley’s that don’t turn properly as well. I wonder why they don’t make 3 wheel trolley’s for better mobility?

Suggestions to help;

  • Do the shopping online – I often forget and by the time we have no food in the house I can’t wait for a delivery. Also being pregnant I don’t know what I fancy from one day to the next and would end up buying a load of food that would make me feel sick.
  • My sons are now on school holidays and think that it’s a ‘treat’ to push the trolley around the supermarket! They take turns to push and I guide the front to make sure we don’t crash which works really well.
  • I always pick one of the smaller trolley’s so that I don’t have to keep bending and stretching when it’s time to unload onto the┬ácheckout.
  • Bag up fresh and frozen foods in small manageable bags. That way when I get home I can get these out and put in the fridge or freezer, the rest of the heavy items can wait in the car until hubby get’s home to unload.

Also I do our shopping at the local Sainsbury’s and their staff are amazing. When I’ve been in there before and the pain has got too much for me I’ve asked for help. The staff have unloaded the trolley and even put it in the boot of my car for me which has been fantastic. If you explain what’s wrong people are often happy to help rather than watch you struggle.

Leave me a comment to let me know which every day tasks you struggle with.


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