Activities of Daily Living

Activities of daily living are any movements or exercises that you take part in on a daily basis. In the medical community, these activities are often referred to as ADL, a categorization that is sometimes used as a measurement of how well or how poorly people with disabilities are able to function in their everyday lives.

How spine pain can affect ADL

If you are one of the millions of people who experience spine pain, whether due to a herniated disc, bulging disc, spinal stenosis, bone spurs or spinal arthritis, you may have noticed that your activities of daily living are affected. Perhaps you used to be an avid jogger, and now you find that the stress of high-impact exercise is too hard on your neck or back. If you have chronic, severe spine pain, you may have found that even simple activities become painful, like bending down to tie your shoe or reaching up to get a book from a shelf. When you see your physician about your neck or back pain, it is important to be clear about which activities are affected by your condition. This will help the physician determine the severity of your condition so that an appropriate treatment plan can be developed.

A list of activities of daily living

ADL can take a variety of forms, but some of the most common measures of functionality include the following:

  • Bathing and hygiene
  • Eating
  • Dressing
  • Driving
  • Walking certain distances
  • Carrying heavy objects
  • Elimination


If your neck or back pain has become severe enough that you feel your quality of life has decreased because you can no longer be as active as you once were, talk to your physician about a regimen of conservative treatment. This could include pain medication, hot/cold therapy, intermittent rest or mild stretching, among others. If weeks or months of these methods prove ineffective, your physician may suggest that you consider surgery. Keep in mind that there are alternatives to the risks and lengthy recuperative periods associated with traditional open spine surgery. Laser Spine Institute offers a variety of minimally invasive procedures that are performed using the latest advancements in technology. For more information, contact Laser Spine Institute today.