Dealing with back pain getting on and off the toilet

If you are dealing with back pain some of the easiest tasks in life might prove to be more difficult. Getting down onto the toilet may prove to be a very difficult task.

Getting on and off the toilet when dealing with back pain.

When you have to sit down on the toilet try this out.

  1. Keep your back straight
  2. Push your hips backwards as you support your upper body with your arms on your thighs. This is the short stop position.
  3. Crawl your hands down your thighs to your knees.
  4. To get onto the seat you may need to use a handrail or place your hands on the toilet to lower yourself further.

To come back up

  1. With your knees out, place your weight firmly on your feet.
  2. Lean forward supporting your hands on your knees or using a handrail.
  3. Crawl your hands up your thighs as your straighten your self up to standing.

I hope this helps you

Dr Notley

P.S. If you are struggling with pain don’t just expect things to just get better. Seek out a professional who can help you.

Dealing with back pain while brushing your teeth

Brushing your teeth while experiencing back pain

Brushing your teeth while experiencing back pain

If you are dealing with back pain some of the easiest tasks in life might prove to be more difficult. If you find brushing your teeth, plucking your eyebrows or shaving too uncomfortable try this out.

Most often when brushing our teeth we lean forward over the sink, bending over at the lower back, in case toothpaste drips.  There are two ways you can minimize the discomfort while brushing your teeth.  One way is to simply stand up straight. The other way is it support your upper body by placing your free hand on the sink and sticking your buttocks out.  Sticking the buttocks out helps you bend at your hips and keep your lower back neutral.  The less bending at the lower back and the upper body support lessen the stress on the spine an the muscles supporting the spine.

Dr Notley

Dr Notley’s practice is an evidence informed, multi-modal treatment method which combines spinal manipulation/mobilization, exercises, acupuncture and other modes of care, along with patient education. Dr Notley is available, by appointment, through the following link

How to get in and out of bed when dealing with back pain

You may be suffering with back pain right now and it is excruciating to get into or out of your bed.

Dr Notley, Winnipeg Chiropractor and Athletic therapist, demonstrates two methods on how to get into and out of your bed when you are experiencing back pain. Though you may still experience pain hopefully this will minimize the discomfort.

Method One

  1. Slide hands down your thighs and your hips flex forward. This is the short stop position.
  2. Place one hand on the bed and lift up the leg closest to the bed.
  3. Place the other hand on the bed and lower your body down onto the bed.
  4. Lift the other leg up onto the bed.
  5. Reverse the order to stand up.

Method Two

  1. Facing away from the bed move into the short stop position to help you sit down onto the bed.
  2. Lower yourself onto one elbow as you bring your legs up onto the bed.
  3. Lower yourself onto your shoulder.
  4. Turn your hips and pelvis at the same time to roll onto your back.
  5. Reverse the order to stand up.

Dr Notley



Shoulder Blade Circles (CARs) for neck pain, back pain or shoulder pain

Shoulder blade scapular circles/carsThe shoulder blades or scapulae have muscles that extend to the neck, thoracic spine, ribs and shoulder.  The shoulder blades, therefore, can influence these other regions. Having control/mobility over the scapula would thus be a potential area to work on if you are having problems in these other areas.

I often have my athletes and my desk athlete’s perform scapular circles if they have any problems in these regions. They are easy to do and can be done anywhere.

Shoulder blade / scapular circles (CARs)

Shoulder blade circles/scapular circles (CARs) can and should be performed with the arms in any position.

To show the movement of the shoulder blade I will perform this movement, in the video, with my arms out in front of me. I will only move one arm so you can see how much the shoulder blade contributes to the movement. Keep in mind you can perform this exercise with both shoulders simultaneously.

I often start my athletes off with their hands resting on their laps. This tends to be the easiest way to start. As they get more accustom to controlling the movement of the shoulder blade the arm can be placed in different positions.

start by pulling the shoulder blades together. Once you’ve hit your max then keep the shoulder blades and raise them up as high as you can. Once you have reached your max then round/reach the shoulder blades forward as far as you can, keeping the should blades up. then when you reach the end point keep it there and drop the shoulder blade down.

Perform this movement slowly.

Take about 30 to 60 seconds to complete one circle.

Dr Notley


Quadruped Hip Circles (CARS)

This is another one my exercises that I give to my athletes/patients in the controlled articular rotations (CARs) category. The training method and acronym is popularized by Dr Andreo Spina. It was taught to me at a Functional Range Conditioning course in Winnipeg.  I call them “circles” to my patients because it’s easier for them to understand.  What I like about CARs is that they are easy, yet challenging, and expose to my athletes areas of mobility that they may be lacking in.

The intent of this exercise is to challenge the hip at its end ranges. The end range of motion is commonly the weakest area. This helps us to strengthen this region and also helps to keep our hips joint healthy through all ranges of motion.

Unlike stretching, which passively improves the  range of motion, this movement makes the muscles work at the end range of motion.

Hip Circles in Quadruped (CARS)

Hip Circles can be performed on their own or, ideally, at the end of a stretching session.

To perform this exercise:

  1. Start in a quadruped position, on all fours, lift the knee up to your chest limiting the amount of rounding of the lower back.
  2. Keep the knee up and move the knee to the outside as far as possible, keeping the pelvis horizontal.
  3. Keep the knee there and rotate the hip inwards attempting to lift the foot higher than the knee. Try not to hike the pelvis up during this point in the exercise
  4. keep the leg up and bring it back behind you. Try not to over arch the back at this point in the exercise.
  5. Return to the start.
  6. This can also be performed in the reverse order

To really challenge yourself perform one repetition for 30 to 60 seconds

Dr Notley

If you are having pain or you are not moving well and want to move better make an appointment