1. Marnie63

    Marnie63 Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
    I have never suffered with any kind of back problem before, but now I can feel the strain building in my lower back from all the supporting of mum I do when transferring her. I think it's muscular strain. I'm not really sure what I can do about it, other than not transfer mum and just leave her in bed now, which doesn't seem right. Carers help me when they are here of course, but they are not here all the time when I need to transfer her to the commode. I have booked in for a back massage soon, maybe this will help.

    Do back problems heal? Will it all sort itself out if I take the pressure off it a little, for a while? I do worry as this is the first health problem I seem to have encountered because of the caring (apart from possible future issues due to some of the very stressful periods I've been through!).

    I hate the way this dementia hits you from all sides.
  2. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    N Ireland
    Hi @Marnie63, my experience with back problems is that they tend to get worse unless the cause is removed. I presume you aren't trained in lifting techniques so you shouldn't be straining. Can your GP or someone put you in contact with an Occupational Therapist for a needs assessment and the possible provision of a hoist?
  3. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    I think you need to be very careful - if you ignore the warning symptoms and overdo it now, you could end up with chronic problems later on. The obvious advice would be to stop doing whatever is causing the problem and rest (while making sure your back stays mobile, don't sit too long in one position and let it stiffen up). But if you need to keep transferring your mum to the commode, that's going to be difficult.

    I think you need to talk to your gp as soon as possible so that they can check your back and give you the right advice for your situation. And talk to social services to see what help they can organise - but do everything sooner rather than later, don't wait for a crisis.
  4. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    #4 Beate, Mar 21, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
    Marnie, I went to a moving and handling training course with the Alzheimer's Society once - can you see whether anything like that is available somewhere? You really shouldn't be putting your back out moving your Mum alone and maybe with the wrong technique!

    And yes, speak to Social Services. If you're laid up with back pain you won't be able to help your Mum at all.
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I had severe back problems only caused by helping my husband get up from the chair or bed, lifting his legs, putting on socks and shoes and holding his hand when we walked.

    It never occurred to me to ask for handling training and it wasn't suggested.

    If I knew then what I know now it would have saved me a lot of pain.
  6. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    A back massage will help ease the pain, it should give a bit of relaxing respite too. Several trips to the osteopath and to the chiroprator helped when massages couldn't fix the problems I had over the winter, but that's expensive.
    I hope you can get some more support from social services, maybe a hoist or something, to stop it becoming a long term problem, Marnie.
  7. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    I had back pain on the side that John hung on to. An invalid friend suggested he needed two sticks for balance and to stop him hanging on to me. That did the trick. Now I have severe pain in my right elbow from all the help I give him up and down, getting washed and dressed etc. I have it strapped up permanently and that is helping.
  8. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    I've had severe back issues, which were in part triggered by clearing my mum's house - I was loading 3 skips a day on each trip as she was a hoarder. I don't think this was the original trigger though, I think it was issues caused during pregnancy.

    In my case, there are little bones coming off the spine that are stiff and across the pelvis, and my sports physio has manipulated them to free them, a massage will help the underlying muscle issues, which do need to be strengthened to support the bones once moving freely.

    All the 'good' sports physios I have used have worked on joints, and moving them, in the spine, but not all physios do, osteopaths should I think.

    The back exercises I have been given do wonders and free everything up.

    They should be easily googlable. This link includes some of the ones the physio gave me, and also lying on back and pulling knee up to chest and holding for 5 on each size. They might be worth a try, the knee roll in particular helps free things up.


    Edited to add: I do agree with others that trying to get other methods of lifting in place as well, as the cumulative damage cannot repair whilst still lifting
  9. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    I have had recurring problems with my back which started years ago from a prolapsed disc caused by lifting my children when they were small.
    These days it can be triggered off by minor things like taking washing out of the washing machine or plates out of the dishwasher and when I clean my teeth I have to put one hand on the basin to support my back. I have heavy duty painkillers, anti-inflammatories and diazepam (to stop the spasms) for when it all flares up and I cannot move, but if its not bad I dont take anything. I have a constant niggle in my lower back (I only worry when it becomes a ring of pain right round my waist and into my groin), flash pains down my legs, my left foot is numb and I get odd sensations down my leg and foot all on a regular basis. The numbness is permanent now and I can no longer wear sandals. I have exercise which I do regularly. I cannot take OHs weight at all and if he falls I cannot get him up.

    The pain is a warning sign. Please dont leave it and continue as you are. As others have suggested, go to your GP and get a referral for an OT assessment.
  10. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    I've had continue lower back problems most of my life, probably due to falling out of a top bunk bed and landing straight on my bottom. Sometimes the smallest of things can set it off, seating in the car for too long, gardening bending and even just seating down on the toilet. When mum first moved in with me I had the worst attack ever and just could not move. Whenever I have to do any heavy lifting I now wear a back brace, wraps round and stays in place by Velcro and it works, not had a problem for a few years now, but I am not doing as much lifting as you are for your mother, but once you have sorted this problem, ask the professional what they think of back braces.
  11. father ted

    father ted Registered User

    Aug 16, 2010
    Back issues can occur from all sorts of issues so be careful once you start to experience problems especially in middle age onwards they tend to always be there but if you are careful you can minimise the risks and thus limit the number of bad back bouts.

    Firstly get OT to visit and assess. They could possible provide hoist or if the person can help a bit- a rotor turner so that you are guiding them but not taking their whole weight. Don't be lifting on your own if you can help it.
    See what your GP says but in general once you have a flair up don't lay in bed( as if you would have the opportunity as a carer. I know!). Keep moving about, take analgesia and now they frequently advise something cold on the affected area to reduce inflammation but personally I prefer something warm and do find this better.
    Daily exercises such as Pilates teachers advise really do help as a preventative measure and even if you get a bad back you tend to recover quicker.

    Advice would be to take action now. Once damage is done you ,ay find that your back 'goes out' very easily. Last time my back went I wasn't lifting anyone just putting a duvet cover on!
  12. Marnie63

    Marnie63 Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
    Thanks all for the advice. I have a hoist but am currently using the stand aid. Mum can weight bear at the moment and hold onto the handles of the stand aid, so I am still using this to transfer her, while she is able to use it. I think I am probably doing too much in supporting her weight. This morning I just guided her to stand and she did it without me 'pushing' her up, so I have, perhaps, been overdoing the help and thus straining my back! So far today it seems to have eased, so maybe I need to just be more careful, not take so much of her weight, and on days when she can't stand well, I either leave her in bed or use the hoist, to save my back. I've heard a lot about how bad back pain can be, so am very conscious of not wanting to do mine in to the extent that I have long term problems.

    I'll also see how the massage helps, this will have therapeutic benefits as well as possibly easing the back a little!
  13. silver star

    silver star Registered User

    May 23, 2017
    Hi Marnie63. Totally agree about OT involved. I have suffered with my back since I was 14. Then all of the lifting and pushing of wheelchairs over the years have done me no favours. I thought I was transferring M.I.L in the proper way, then OT came out, and I had been doing it incorrectly, because method had been changed since I had been initially taught. Take care, you really need to save your back.
  14. Rolypoly

    Rolypoly Registered User

    Jan 15, 2018
    Like @Tin I was going to suggest a back brace as an interim measure. My OH has back problems and wears a brace when he has any heavy lifting to do which really helps.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.