Hurting your back at work is likely to cause you a lot of pain, so much so that the idea of doing even ordinary everyday activities may seem impossible while you recover. However, if you expect your doctor to recommend a prolonged stay in bed, you will probably discover otherwise.
It may seem surprising that your physician would not suggest that you stay in bed, but the Harvard Medical School explains some important reasons that your body might suffer if you do not remain active in some capacity during recovery.
Loss of muscle efficiency
Your muscles need to be active to serve you well. If you stay in bed for too long, your muscles can start to lose their conditioning, which may make you weak. Activities that were once easy to do may prove difficult. Even walking may be problematic. Muscles that become weak and lose their tone could subject you to a fall or another risk of injury.
Standing up and moving about helps you with your digestive process. By staying in bed, you are in a reclining position for a long time. This means food will take longer to pass through your body, which could result in gastric reflux. You could also experience constipation.
Being active is also important when it comes to blood circulation. Being bedridden runs the risk of circulatory problems like developing blood clots in your legs or pelvis. Bedridden patients may also experience cramps, swollen feet, and additional pain in the extremities.
Staying in bed for too long can also bring you down emotionally. As someone who has held down a job, it is natural if you feel depressed if you are not at work, exercising or doing everyday chores at your home. This could harm your self-image and lead to a prolonged malaise.
Your doctor will likely suggest the kinds of activities you can do while you recover. Asking what activities and exercises you can perform without risking injury may build up your confidence as you seek to return to work. Remember that the state workers’ compensation process may compensate you for your medical expenses, so exploring your options may give you optimism that you can get through this tough time.