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Old 04-11-2010, 11:46 AM   #1
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how to save your back?

Like alot of people, I have a weak lower back, and hitching up is a real pain in the back. Its the bending over that does me in. Getting ready for the new camping season, and already not looking forward to the hitching up,I have even resorted to pull throughs to avoid the unhitching and hitching up at times, not always what I want because I like to camp in the forest service campgrounds that are smaller, and to not extend out of my site with the TV, I need to unhitch and move the TV. So this year I intend to use a sit down stool to help me when I hitch up and not bend over so much, it may or maynot help a little. I know I am not the only one out there with a bad back and that deals with this, anyone out there with good ideas? My AS is 22ft long, TV a Ford F150 super cab. Thanks!

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Old 04-11-2010, 11:53 AM   #2
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One option would be to replace the jack with a power one. I sometimes wish mine was a power jack, and lately I have been looking at the old one wishing I had a way to attach a connector for my power drill. I don't really mind the cranking so much except when I am in hot and humid areas and end up needing a shower after jacking the camper up.


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Old 04-11-2010, 11:59 AM   #3
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I carry a gardeners knee pad,use it on my knees to hook up bars etc.I do have the power jack so that`s no problem. Dave
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Old 04-11-2010, 02:25 PM   #4
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I like the majority of people also have a bad back, found a simple sneeze or wrong move can cause pain for a long time. The worst move is bending over and trying to move something at arms length side to side (inside the trunk of car). Aligning trailer with aligning rods with the electric jacks, chains to lighter safety cables not much else to be done. I have found I get relief with a teeter hangup at home but haven't figure how to travel with it;-(
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:10 PM   #5
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Yeah, my back and knee joints always take a beating getting ready for a trip. I now use a gardener's pad or knee pads to avoid squatting or bending. And I take it slow, very often dividing up the strenuous chores between successive days before a trip, instead of trying to do all the heavy lifting over a couple of hours. After all, camping should be all about pacing yourself, and leaving the rat race behind.
"I have found through trial and error that I work best under duress. In fact, I work only under duress." -Ed Abbey

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Old 04-11-2010, 05:01 PM   #6
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Limbering up - walking, stretching, some mild isometric clenches always help, also dry practice runs stepping though the real 'dance' before expecting that great ape in us to let us get away pain-free when tackling jobs...

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Old 04-11-2010, 06:18 PM   #7
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Teach your wife how to do it.
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:19 PM   #8
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I understand. I injured my lower back 26 years ago and was told I was 20% disabled, but I refused to act my age. This injury forced me to exercise a lot and that has kept me going. Knees are bad too (skiing is not meant for human knees—years afterward you may pay the price).

I use a stool to sit on when doing some of the things, or a plastic container that I store things in, or sit on the ground. It also helps to have a wife who is younger and also exercises and will help with things like the stabilizer jacks and hitching. The stabilizer jacks are really hard on my back because there's no way to avoid bending. I look for somewhere I can take on of the tension off my disks by holding myself with one hand while doing something with the other—sometimes squatting just doesn't work so some bending is inevitable.

There are lots of things that require bending or squatting (knees don't like that)—attaching TV cable, water lines, sewer, etc. Inside, a lot of things get stored down low and can be hard to get. The oven can't be lit without someone sitting on the floor.

The best thing is a wife that helps. I know there are some women who think this is "men's work" and won't have anything to do with it, but helping each other makes our relationship stronger. Exercise to strengthen back muscles is very important, but not as much fun as a good wife.

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Old 04-11-2010, 07:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
The best thing is a wife that helps. I know there are some women who think this is "men's work" and won't have anything to do with it, but helping each other makes our relationship stronger. Exercise to strengthen back muscles is very important, but not as much fun as a good wife.

I found that it helps if I tell her that I don't think she can do it.

(it doesn't matter what the task is, it almost always works)

The downside: She usually does it better that I can.


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Old 04-11-2010, 07:09 PM   #10
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Napa , California
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Baaaaad Back

I have had two surgeries on my lower back and I have found this great thing at garden centers. It has a rubber pad to kneel on and two handles about 30 inches high to help you back up and totally open in the front. It even fits on top of the battery box with a bungee cord. I feel your pain and good luck.
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:51 PM   #11
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This may help some of you who have back and knee problems. I have been plagued with lower back and knee pain due to worn joints for years, this is because of worn and stressed joints, a natural result of being over 6 feet tall and weighing 250 pounds.

A few years ago I started taking Sam E for my nerves. Not only did it cure my depression after about 3 weeks the pain in my knees and back went away. That was almost 10 years ago and I am still pain free as long as I take the Sam E.

This is a non prescription diet supplement you can buy at Walmart, health food stores and drug stores. It is a natural chemical you already have in your body.

It is the only thing that will regrow worn joints. It is also good for the nerves, depression and liver disease.

I have recommended it to others who found it helped their carpal tunnel syndrome and other joint pains. As well as making them feel better.

If you are going to take the Sam E it works better if you also take vitamin C, B6, B12 and folic acid.
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:47 AM   #12
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I didn't know anything about SAM-e, so I looked it up: S-Adenosyl methionine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We take glucosamine/chondroitin and it has helped alleviate joint pain.

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Old 05-01-2010, 10:49 AM   #13
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It's hard kneeling down on old knees. While looking for the little gardening pads that kept getting lost in our pickup bed, I found a larger closed cell foam pad that we use as a water floatie and picnic bench seat pad. It's big enough to get both knees on, or to sit on, if necessary. It's about 18x24x1.5 inches, looks kind of like a flattened stadium seat, and was only a few dollars.

As for the electric tongue jack, I didn't think we needed one, as the old hand crank one really wasn't very difficult to use. However, since I do the backing and my wife does the cranking, and we are nearing retirement age, I wanted to make her job a little easier; also, anticipating that one day we might really need it.

When it's 110 degrees here, that thing is worth every penny. Not that cranking is overly strenuous, but it's just one little thing that helps us get out of the heat and on the road faster. Also, we don't think twice about disconnecting while on the road. Before, we'd debate whether this was really necessary, and often just take the Airstream to dinner with us. Now, it's not a big deal to drop it at the campsite.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:19 PM   #14
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Annie doesn't have much trouble, once in a while I have to give her a pep talk, she don't like hooking up on a hot day when it is like 90 degree so when it is going to be like that we leave early in the morning and she likes that better.


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