OrthoNeuro Blog

31 Jan

Rise and Shine! Getting out of bed while protecting your spine.

by Boston Gregg

Your Spine"Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed."

Getting out of bed is hard enough as it is; don't let easily avoidable back injuries make it that any harder.  According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.  Americans spend an estimated $50 billion on back pain every year.  The stresses caused by bending and twisting at the spine can lead to more serious injuries. Follow these simple steps to properly and safely get out of bed in the morning.

Begin in a neutral spine position.

"Neutral spine" is defined as a position in which your spine has all three curves properly aligned. The three natural curves of the spine are cervical (7 vertebrae), thoracic (12 vertebrae), and lumbar spine (5 vertebrae). Both the cervical and lumbar spine are "c-shape" curves, while the thoracic spine is a "reverse c-shape." An example of a neutral spine position would be lying on your back on a firm surface with your feet flat on the ground and knees bent. This should be a position of comfort. Neutral spine position is the strongest position for your back to be in.



Log roll onto your side.

When moving positions, make sure not to jerk, twist, or bend your back. It's important to tighten your abdominals and imagine your pelvis and ribs are locked together before rolling onto your side. This will ensure you do not twist or strain your back while getting out of bed. Note the downside arm under the patient's head in the photo below.



Push yourself into the sitting position.

While maintaining a neutral spine on your side, allow your feet to come off the bed. Use your downside arm to prop yourself up into the sitting position.



Rise and begin your day.

Once you are in the upright sitting position, scoot to the edge and plant your feet on the ground in front of you. Place your dominant foot slightly underneath you. Maintain a neutral spine position, tighten your abdominals, and begin to bend forward at the hips. Do not bend at the back.



Getting into bed.

To get back into bed, simply reverse these steps.


Information for this blog post comes directly from OrthoNeuro's Basic Body Mechanics For Daily Living. To receive a copy, click the image below:

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