• Stand Tall, Sleep with a level spine and THINK well (of yourself)
• Avoid extreme bending of your spine in any direction, especially reaching or overhead work.
• When lifting, keep you low back slightly arched, bend your knees and let your legs to the work. Keep whatever you are lifting close to your body. Avoid stooping quickly to pick up children or objects.
• When having a bath, sit rather than lie in the tub, or, at least, use an inflatable bath pillow for your neck. In the shower, pulling on long, wet hair can reinjure the neck.
• Avoid activities that jar the neck or spine especially after a recent injury. Consider learning how to stabilize your spine or shoulder girdles (core stability) to improve your balance and limb strength during activities of daily living, e.g. Mastermoves Core Training Program (Ask me how!), Pilates, or PhysioBall exercises.
REST, RELAX and RECOVER
• Set aside a special time of each day for complete mental and physical relaxation. Remember a change from your daily routine is (almost) as good as a holiday. Exercise your right brain and lungs! Sing!
• Avoid soft, overstuffed chairs. Recliner chairs are okay. Try a PhysioBall for a seat! Vary the adjustments on your car seat on breaks during long drives. Try yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, i.e. relaxing movements.
• Sleep on your back or sides with your legs slightly flexed—not drawn up tightly (“sleep tall”). Consider placing a pillow between your knees when sleeping on your side (this is not only for pregnant women!). Avoid sleeping on your stomach—your neck and its nerves don’t like it!
• When changing sleeping positions, raise your head off the pillow by pushing your hand as you place it near the side of the head as you roll away from the pushing hand.
• Sleep on a moderately firm mattress. Please call us if you are in the market for a mattress or duvet. We can help you choose a mattress—remember, you spend 30% of your life sleeping—it’s worth the investment!
• A well-designed pillow should keep your head and neck level with the rest of your spine when sleeping on your sides. When sleeping on your back, a good pillow should contour to the arches in your neck. We can help you select and purchase a suitable contoured pillow!
A good pillow should be contoured to the curve of your neck; be made of materials that draw moisture away from your head and allow airflow between the pillow and your head; absorb breathing vibrations; inhibit mites and mildew; be sufficiently dense enough to resist flattening overnight; and may include sleep-promoting magnets, head-cooling ceramic materials, buckwheat-husk or wool filling; etc.
• Rise from your bed by turning on your side and swinging your legs off the bed, then pushing yourself into a sitting position with your arms to reduce the strain on your back.
• During airline flights use an inflatable or husk-filled, horse-shoe shaped ‘travel’ pillow for your neck (placed backwards like a bib) and avoid prolonged pressure behind your knees. On long flights, consider wearing light pressure socks (hose)! Kneel backwards on your seat for an occasional stretch!
• Deep restorative sleep allows your body to recuperate and repair itself. Remember you cannot catch up on your sleep on weekends—your body cannot recover that easily! Quality sleep is good self-care!
If you have any questions about any phase of your therapy or wellness goals—feel free to ask Fred Samorodin, RPT, your physical therapist, he will help you find an answer!
Bridging Traditional and Innovative Approaches to Health!
Fred Samorodin, RPT