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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 suffer from 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 back or neck. If you suffer from 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 doctor about your back or neck pain, it is important to be clear about which activities are affected by your condition. This will help the doctor 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 back or neck 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 doctor 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 doctor may suggest that you consider surgery. Keep in mind that there are alternatives to the risks and lengthy recuperative periods associated with open spine surgery. Laser Spine Institute offers a variety of minimally invasive procedures that are performed using the latest advancements in endoscopic technology. For more information, or for a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan, contact Laser Spine Institute today.

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