Sunday, 3 February 2008

Safe Bathing With Back And Sciatic Pain

I Love my Baths again :) I am the person who loves low lights, candles and scented aromatherapy oils... However, with back and sciatic pain that little luxery proved difficult.

It can be very hard when you are suffering from back pain and sciatica to do some of the normal things everyone else takes for granted...such as taking a bath.

If you have severe and debilitating back pain you may need to take professional advice and may require adaptations to your bathroom. As I am not an expert in these things I will not comment on options here but you may wish to investigate through your healthcare provider.

For others at first it may be easier for you to take a shower. When I initially got back and sciatic pain my physiotherapist recommended I did not take a bath at all but shower instead. If you have a separate shower cubicle it is perhaps easier to just go in and stand than to even try for a bath.

If your shower is the shower over the bath type like mine then its a bit more complex as you still need to negociate stepping over the bath which seemed guarenteed to produce spasms of pain for me. My legs at that stage were often in tingling pain or experiencing numbness and I did not feel safe without support.

In either case please ensure you have a very safe non slip mat or surface. A handrail is also very useful if you have one if you need to steady yourself. You may wish to consider having one fitted.

The last thing you want to do is slip!

This may be embarrassing, but if you are at all worried about getting in the bath get someone to help you in and out. My husband was always there to help me step over the bath when I was getting a shower. I needed his support to make me feel safe, especially stepping out of the shower. Then I graduated to holding onto the sink to support myself .

If you feel you can tolerate a bath then again go slowly and carefully and ideally have someone around in the house to call on if you need them. Don't spend too long in the bath or have the water too hot. About 20 minutes was OK for me.

The way you need to lie in the bath can be difficult for some people, even painful, so you will need to be the judge of that. Our bath is quite wide so I was able to turn and lie in a comfortable position for me.

You may wish to consider sea salt in the bath and see if that helps you . I found dead sea salts helped to relax my muscles.

Also it can be lovely if heat helps you with the pain to have a couple of short showers each day with the water directed onto your back or to have a couple of short baths per day.

Getting out was the most difficult part and again I needed support to get out. I found it best to get into a kneeling position then to stand from there using my upper body to push up. That was just the way it worked for me. You will need to experiment for yourself.

I noticed while actually in the bath often all pain went away... which was BLISS and was one of the ways I knew that heat on my back helped to ease the pain for me.

Like everything concerned with your back pain and sciatica you will need to judge what is best for you for yourself.

Do you have any bathing tips to pass on to others who may have back pain? Feel free to comment here...

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Lose The Back Pain System
Lose the Back Pain, is a system of self assessments to determine what physical imbalances you may have that may be causing your pain, then specific and targeted exercises to follow to address the imbalances, along with pain reduction strategies. 

For useful information and suggestions there is a Free Back Pain Book Written by the Healthy back Institute-

7 Day Back Pain Cure
This free book (there is a small shipping/handling fee for physical book) will give you a good starting point for taking back control of your back pain covering reasons for pain, pain relief, possible treatments, action plans and many other things you will find useful.
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