Order medical supplies online to manage caregiver back pain
Did you know that you can order medical supplies online to prevent and treat caregiver back pain? According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, low back pain “is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work day,” and it affects approximately 80% of adults. Caregivers are especially at risk for back pain – even more so if the care receiver is immobilized and/or bariatric. Informal caregivers may be required to turn over bedridden patients (to avoid bedsores), as well as transfer them from bed to wheelchair to shower or bath, and all the way back again. Not knowing how to properly perform these tasks can result in injury to the caregiver. Fortunately, we know where to get inexpensive medical supplies that can help caregivers protect themselves – and their loved ones.
Preventing caregiver back pain
Gait belt. The caregiver can place a gait belt on the patient for a better grip during a transfer from a bed to a wheelchair.
Transferring a patient from bed to wheelchair*
· Place the wheelchair on the same side as the patient's good leg.
· Park the wheelchair next to the bed, close to you.
· Put the brakes on and move the footrests out of the way.
Getting the care receiver ready
· Allow the patient to sit for a few moments, in case he or she feels dizzy when sitting up.
· Put one arm under the patient's shoulders and the other behind the knees. Bend your knees.
· Swing the patient's feet off the edge of the bed and use the momentum to help the patient into a sitting position.
· Move the patient to the edge of the bed and lower the bed so his or her feet touch the ground.
· Place the patient's outside leg (the one farthest from the wheelchair) between your knees for support.
· Bend your knees and keep your back straight.
· Count to 3 and slowly stand up. Lift with your legs.
· Simultaneously, the patient should place their hands by their sides and help push off the bed.
· The patient should help support their weight on their good leg during the transfer.
· Pivot towards the wheelchair, moving your feet so your back is aligned with your hips.
· Once the patient's legs are touching the seat of the wheelchair, bend your knees to lower the patient into the seat. At the same time, ask the patient to reach for the wheelchair armrest.
*Assuming the patient can stand on at least one leg.
Walker with Retractable Stand Assist Bars. This is another instance in which a caregiver can order medical supplies online to prevent back pain. The LiftWalker with Retractable Stand Assist Bars is designed to help people sit down and stand up on their own while reducing the risk of caregiver injury. Studies have shown that manual lifting of the patient by the caregiver is often dangerous to both parties. The Liftwalker enables the user to hold the two retractable assist bars and pull his or her own body weight up while the caregiver holds the walker steady.
Transfer benches. Bath transfer benches help people with limited mobility get into and out of a bathtub or shower. They can also be used as a shower seat, and even as a commode. Tub floors tend to be higher than the bathroom floor, so the two legs of the transfer bench that go inside the tub may have to be adjusted to be at about the same level as the two legs outside. If all four legs are adjusted to the appropriate height, the bench should not be resting on the tub wall. The inner legs should be as near to the tub’s far wall as it is possible, the same side on which the handle should be. The caregiver should make sure that the bench is stable before the care receiver gets on it.
Patient lifts. These are more hospital equipment supplies than anything else, though they can be used as home care medical supplies as well. Either way, we can include them here if only for the sake of completion. A patient lift utilizes hydraulic power to transfer a patient from a bed to a chair or other resting places.
Other. Order medical online supplies such as grab bars, raised toilet seats, and toilet safety frames to enable a loved one to lower themselves to, as well as raise from the toilet, with minimal assistance and minimal risk.
Treating back pain
Let’s say you read the above paragraphs and think to yourself, “a little late for Lenny.” Not to worry, though. Discount Medical Supplies also has rehab products and pain management supplies available.
Pain medication. Aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen are all over-the-counter pain medications that can help relieve back pain in caregivers.
Gels, lotion and ointments. Biofreeze, CryoDerm, Sombra, and SubZero are among the pain relief gels, lotions, and ointments available at DMS.
TENS units. Cheap TENS units such as the TENS 3000 and TENS 7000 – as well as related TENS unit supplies like electrodes, and lead wires, batteries and accessories – can help you forget pain incurred in the line of caregiving duty.
As a closing remark, may we remind you to consult a doctor before you order medical supplies online like the ones mentioned in this article and use them to move a loved one around and prevent back pain. This recommendation applies especially if you have already experienced low back pain and it is of a chronic nature, as this may be a sign of an underlying condition.
Related: Tens Therapy for Back Pain