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Old 07-27-2009, 06:22 AM   #1
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Anybody out there have a bad back? Yes, this is a cooking question.

It is early morning hours and I'm looking at a sink full of dishes from last night's dinner. Usually I cook, hubby washes. But lately his back has been bothering him. My back almost always hurts in one way, shape or form. Counter tops, sinks, stoves, I swear, are actually meant for women who are between 5' and 5'4". My husband and I are close in height, that is to say the height of the average American man, 5'9". I can't afford to have a custom-made kitchen where all the counters and sinks are about 4" higher (I think 6" would be even better) than what is the norm. But hunching over the counter is giving both of us literally a pain in the back. When sciatica is really acting up for me, I'm trying to learn to sit on a high stool, or at the kitchen table when doing lengthy chopping. Anyone else have this problem?

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Old 07-27-2009, 06:40 AM   #2
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Oh, yes! For things that need to be done at the sink, (The leaning over to rinse at the faucet strains my lower back) I usually end up working is short shifts of a few minutes at a time and resolving myself to the fact it's going to take twice as long than the average person. Often, I'll find other things to do around the kitchen while my back ache settles down.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:07 AM   #3
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I have the same problem and I'm 5'5". I have Sciatica on both sides along with several other problems from falling down some stairs. I have an island and there are times I do sit on a stool to do lengthy prep work. The sink I also have to do what I can and then sit and rest my back when needed. Ah, what I would give to have my dream kitchen built just for me and me only.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:28 AM   #4
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If I am standing in that position too long then my back starts to ache. They need to raise the standard counter height.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:00 AM   #5
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I have the opposite problem , my counters should be 2 inches lower, since I'm 5'1"
I always get back pain doing prep work ,dishes etc. My counters are 36 " high.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:11 AM   #6
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Claire, an island may be a good thing for you if you have room for it. You could come pretty close to getting the height you want. I have the opposite problem - I'm short just over 5'3" and my counters seem to tall for me. I do some of my prep on the kitchen table.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:15 AM   #7
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Being 6'1" and having spondylolysthesis and degenerative disc disease, I (literally) feel your pain. I'm blessed to have a wife willing to do the dishes, because it would cripple me.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:17 AM   #8
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Your problems are that of most men. I'm 6'2" and my back gets tired if I have been standing at the counter for a long time.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:37 AM   #9
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I'm the same way, 6'0" and any longer than 5 minutes at the sink and I start hurting, peeling potatoes, carrots, etc and dishes kills my back. Though having a thick cutting board helps on cutting anything up.
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:21 AM   #10
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I am 5'9", have three fractures in my lumbar region, a knee replacement and arthritis, fibromyalgia, bursitis and more. I also cook for a living - go figure!

Anyway, I have a few tips for you.
1) if you are standing at a counter for a long period of time, put one foot up on something such as a thick phonebook, anything that is at least three inches. This will help align you better. You can even switch feet back and forth.

2) get a foam or rubber mat that is at least 3/4" thick. You don't have to get expensive ugly black professional kitchen mats. My SIL went to Walmart and got 2 foot brightly coloured interlocking squares that she puts in the areas she needs them.

3) The island idea is great. My DH and a friend made me one that I can wheel into my small kitchen or store away when I don't need it. It was made just to my height so that I can chop, mix, etc. very comfortably.
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