How do I get my socks on when my lower back is really bad? In common with some of my other patients – I don’t. For some people they go sockless for weeks (don’t worry, I won’t name and shame you); for me it’s for the first hour or so after getting up. There’s just no point in trying.
I hope you don’t think – “What sort of an osteopath is he, when he can’t even fix his own back!?” The truth is that my back is so much better than it was many years ago (and if I am daft enough to aggravate it, I know how to sort it out). And part of that is not pushing into the pain. And believe me, trying to get your socks on first thing in the morning when you can’t even touch your knees or sit on the edge of the bed is a battle best avoided.
So, apart from avoiding putting them on (hint hint, man in picture), what strategies can I recommend?
Get up earlier
So that you can still have time to put your socks on before you leave the house. Moving around in the morning for half an hour or so often gives your back time to loosen-up before attempting the forward-bending required to complete your attire.
Do some warm-up exercises
Lying on your back pulling each knee up to your chest will help, although for some people (depending on your problem) it might be lying on your front doing a half press-up with your hips still on the floor (remember to avoid any movement that makes your pain worse). This may be a far-cry from your former life as an Olympic athlete, but…
Take some pills as soon as you get up
My least favourite strategy, but when needs must… (if you’re taking anti-inflammatories, make sure you take some food with them!).
Try different techniques
The one that works best for me – enabling me to get my socks on at the earliest opportunity – is lying on my back, pulling one leg up and lassooing the sock over my big toe, before pulling it over the rest of my foot. Another possibility is leaning against a wall, balancing on one foot while lassooing the other one. Needless to say, this is accompanied by quite a lot of grunting and grimacing, which – while it may not help to complete the mission – is at least a little gratifying. Sitting and leaning forward is normally a complete “no-no” for me.
Don’t stress about it
Stressing about it will only make your pain worse, and delay the successful completion of “Project Socks”.
Probably best not to bother emergency services, but I have had to ask my wife when it’s urgent that I get my socks on and get out of the house in a hurry! 😉
Finally, if “Project Socks” is a recurring feature in your life, call 0131 221 1415. See you soon!