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Agonising back pain on train - is it enough to ask for a seat?

(27 Posts)
Morelikeguidelines Thu 14-May-15 08:58:03

I suffer from a bad back and have often been to an osteopath which helps but is expensive.

If I stand still for long ish periods of time I get terrible pain - walking is fine just standing still a problem.

Is that a reason to ask for a train seat if full? I had not problem asking in pregnancy but feel like this might meet with angry responses as it is not visible.

I am currently sat on the train floor as nervous to ask and no one seems to find this odd!

Can I get one of those cards to say I need a seat?

avocadotoast Thu 14-May-15 09:03:45

I'd get up for you if you asked me. Some people aren't so considerate though. I think you're well within your rights to ask but some people are unfortunately jerks so you might not get a good response!

(Or, I suppose, some people might not move as they need the seat for a similar reason themselves. Which is obviously quite different.)

Nolim Thu 14-May-15 09:04:30

I think it is fine to ask

Collaborate Thu 14-May-15 09:05:27

You should feel no shame asking a table or two if someone would give up their seat. Just explain you have a bad back and are in terrible pain standing up.

MythicalKings Thu 14-May-15 09:09:40

No harm in asking. Try the priority seats first but be prepared to be told that the seated person also has a need.

southwest1 Thu 14-May-15 09:10:16

If you're on a commuter train then no one would think twice about someone sitting on the floor, you sit where you can. My friend was sat in the luggage rack this morning as it's more comfortable than standing.

MidniteScribbler Thu 14-May-15 09:10:18

By all means ask, but I think it's better to address your request to a group or the carriage as a whole, rather than an individual.

Nydj Thu 14-May-15 09:34:02

Would you feel more comfortable to ask people for a seat for say 15 minutes and then stand for a bit again?

londonrach Thu 14-May-15 09:36:23

Ask. Surprised no one offered seat when you sat on floor. I sat on floor once for no other reason but being exhurstive and couldnt stand and had a man offer me his seat.

muminhants Thu 14-May-15 09:45:07

Definitely ask. All trains should have priority seats so if people sit in them they have to accept that they may be asked to move. So ask those people first and then ask in a louder voice if necessary. Of course most people are plugged into their music players etc but someone will be nice and let you have their seat.

It's also worth asking your GP/healthcare provider if they can give you a letter you can show the guard - so s/he can find you a seat.

ProudAS Thu 14-May-15 09:45:25

YANBU at all - I have similar problems with my back and am a bit shy about asking (plus I don't have the best sense of balance).

I wouldn't mind sitting on the floor or luggage rack though so long as it's not too uncomfortable.

Collaborate Thu 14-May-15 10:01:31

Surprised no one offered seat when you sat on floor.

I don't think that you should expect someone to offer you their seat merely because you choose to sit on the floor rather than stand though. People can't be mind readers.

Morelikeguidelines Thu 14-May-15 10:23:17

I didn't expect someone to offer me a seat because I sat on the floor. I was asking you guys whether I would be u to ask for one. Just mentioned sitting on the floor because I thought it was funny no one raised an eyebrow.

Thanks for all the tips anyway!

Morelikeguidelines Thu 14-May-15 10:25:42

Also I am scared of accidentally asking the one person who has also got problems or has been up all night with a baby!

I'm not generally shy and did ask when preggers as it was obvious, and was worse as I had back problems plus pregnancy!

Eltonjohnsflorist Thu 14-May-15 10:29:27

Yes people won't look round for people sitting in the floor on their morning commute.

Back pain sucks. It's awful. But it's awful extremely common so whilst there is no harm asking other passengers probably suffer too.

Sitting on the floor isn't too awful,
Im with the poster above people seem to sit anywhere most days

ScorpioMermaid Thu 14-May-15 10:41:06

I've had to sit on the floor on a train once whilst very heavily pregnant. not a soul would let me sit down on a chair, just sat with newspapers in front of their faces pretending I wasn't there. It's worth asking still but some people just will not move.

Morelikeguidelines Thu 14-May-15 10:47:04

At least I could sit on the floor which is difficult when pregnant. I have a big suitcase with me most days so sat on that (doesn't help with back pain obviously - it has 4 wheels so best I can do).

Is back pain more common in women then men? Just general question but it seems that way (I am flat chested so not blaming boobs).

I don't wear heels to travel so do what I can to make it OK to stand but today it was particularly bad. I have a 1 year old who is made of lead (it seems) so carrying him is a big strain (NB I wasn't carrying him on the train, but have to do so when I home, although I try to minimise it).

There was a woman on my tram today carrying a baby of about 1, her own handbag and older child's bookbag, with older child of about 5/6 hanging off her while standing. She was so jolly and smiley about it, and was only about 5 foot 1. I don't know how she did it. Literally.

MakeItACider Thu 14-May-15 11:30:32

Sorry, but I don't think you're going to have much luck with that sort of a request. Thats the problem with invisible problems - you don't know who has them. If you're frequently on the train for long periods of time you should think about investing in one of those packaway 3 foot stools. Pull it out and sit down on it in the aisle so that you can rest.

Something like this would do the trick.

viva100 Thu 14-May-15 12:46:40

YANBU but you probably won't get a lot of sympathy. I have the same problem -terrible lower back problems, standing is just horrific- but so do 3 of my friends. I've only asked for a seat once when I was also obviously distressed from the pain and only one person (out of 8 around me) let me have his seat and got terrible terrible looks from everyone else. I have recently started to go to work 2 hours earlier than everyone else to avoid rush hour (luckily my work is a bit flexible - people come in between 6 and 10.30am and I have no kids so I realize this isn't a solution for most). Just wanted to say I sympathise.

GreatAuntDinah Thu 14-May-15 13:18:10

In France you can get a little card to flash on the train if you have difficulty standing for a long time. They really should bring them in in the UK.

mousmous Thu 14-May-15 13:20:35

fine to ask smile

NoImSpartacus Thu 14-May-15 14:41:12

I would move for you if you asked me.

NRomanoff Thu 14-May-15 14:52:58

Fine to ask, but to be honest I can't imagine many people moving for someone with a bad back, for a start you don't know if they have problems either and some people simply won't believe you. Its sad but true.

UncertainSmile Thu 14-May-15 14:59:14

I'd move if you asked me

mousmous Thu 14-May-15 15:00:06

communting on the tain daily and with dc with broken leg for some time, we always got a seat on cramped train when asking.

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