Dealing with back pain can be an ongoing, daily battle. Often, it’s a battle that can make you feel lonely and isolated. You may no longer be able to participate in activities you once could do, you may not be able to go to work, and perhaps you are even dealing with depression on top of the physical pain. All of which, understandably is incredibly hard on you, but also on loved ones in your life. Often times partners with a significant other suffering from low back pain get overlooked. The workload on your partner gets doubled, and sometimes tripled. The loved one, for example, may find they now have to do most of the grocery shopping, cleaning and yard work on their own. All of this can lead to stress in the relationship. But don’t give up! You can get better and there are things you can do to be helpful, even when in pain.
The first thing you need to do is to believe that you can get better. Next is to understand that you need to move and exercise even if you are in a lot of pain. Here at Telespine we have seen people with chronic back pain for over 10 years get better. It took them finding the right treatment(s), motivation and belief. It’s also essential for your partner to support you and understand your limitations. To keep a healthy relationship, try and help your partner in ways that don’t cause further injury and pain. Read the following recommendations to keep a happier home:
- Help in ways that you can. For example, cook a simple dinner, fold clothes once they are placed on a counter or table that doesn’t cause you to stoop, clean off counter tops and tables.
- Walking is good for you, so chip in by walking the dog, even if it is just for a little ways down the street.
- If finically feasible, hire help to mow the lawn or help to clean the house. If hiring help is too expensive, don’t be afraid to ask neighbors, friends and family to help out.
- Help take care of paying bills, filling out forms or other online duties that require time but not a lot of physical strain.
- If having sex hurts, try different positions to keep up a level of intimacy that is good for you and your partner. Click here for a great article by Spine Health on positions that can lesson pain while making love.
- Get professional help. Don’t try and heal alone. Start an exercise program to strengthen your lower back and core. If not getting better after 6 weeks, see a doctor or physical therapist.
The American Psychological Association has an article about the physical and emotional effects of chronic pain. It details how it’s more than just a physical phenomenon, and therefore can require more than just one aspect of care. They also list a few tips for helping you cope with the condition.
We understand that things are not the same for you and your family now, and that you didn’t ask for them to change. Know that these struggles are not your fault, and that you are not alone — we’re here to help.