Oh my aching back!
How to help your back pain…
I work as an caregiver in assisted living. It provides “enhanced care”, for the elderly. What I mean by this is, roughly a third of our 70 residents are either totally dependent on us, or need a lot of help to stand or be transferred. We use hoyer lifts and sit to stands. We take care of residents that have had strokes that paralyze on side of their body, Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or they are elderly and frail. We assist or completely transfer them to bed, bathroom, and shower. Change them in bed.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. I am just trying to explain what I do for a living. I’m not complaining or anything. I have been a caregiver for a decade. It is my calling. Caring for those who cannot care for themselves, brightening up someone’s day, being there for someone during their darkest time, holding someone’s hand while they take their last breath, because their family isn’t present. Keeping them nourished, preventing falls. Making their last days count, and improving their lives. I used to be an activity director. The bond I make with them, I feel like they are my second family. I will never quit, regardless of back pain.
Improper body mechanics. This is one reason why my back hurts. That and you are lifting a human being and they move when you’re doing a transfer. Seriously though, when lifting anything, save your back! Lift like you are doing a squat in the gym. Make sure you keep your back straight. Keep your legs shoulder width apart or whatever you feel is best. Use proper body mechanics, especially if you have a physically demanding job! Or just in general, because you only have one back. I also buss the dining room, as in lift heavy trays. My back is killing me today. I go home with back pain, soreness and fatigued. I get burning sensations in my arms and so on.
So, what do I do to keep going? For example, my back hurt so bad today, I had to lay in massage chair today before work. My caregiver friends come over and use my massage chair. I’m happy to help. Stretching, yoga and Pilates!
Do stretches such as, laying on the floor on your back and stretch out your arms and legs. Put your foot on your knee, take your knee to the floor, and your opposite hand, and upper body to the opposite side. Stand up and reach above your head. Put your hands on your hips and stretch your back backwards, and to the side. Also, go to the gym and use weight machines to get your back stronger. If you have heart problems or in general consult your doctor about exercises and so on. I rarely have time for the gym. I’m a working Mom. I feel like I have no time. Exercising and eating healthy helps, but I don’t want to sound hypocritical because working five days a week, and being blessed with two daughters, I just can’t find time.
I get massages every chance I get. Deep tissue massage. It helps so much. It’s such a stress and anxiety reliever. I feel human again, after getting a massage. I invested in a massage chair. Best investment I’ve made. I didn’t care how much or if I had the money or not. I also use tiger balm. I also have a massage chair. It’s a life saver for when I do not have the money for a massage. It relieves pain, and helps me keep going.
I am worried about how much pain I will have when I am older. I see first hand how much pain the older population is in pain. Hopefully, I can stay in shape as I age, but easier said than done. My parents tell me that it is heart healthy to have a physically demanding job vs sitting all day. My Mom read an article about how having a sit down job is as bad as smoking. I wonder how true that is. We all gotta do what we gotta do to make money. My job is wearing me out. Maybe I can find a sit down job, and work on day a week as a caregiver.
Thanks for reading. If you have back pain or any type of pain, I sympathize. I feel what you are going through.
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