World of back health
Stay in bed or get up?
People who have to take it easy due to illness often find it difficult to strike a balance between bed and exercise. Rest and taking it easy are not always the right prescription for pain and therapeutic mattresses can work wonders for some illnesses.
Health guides often feature them… young fitness enthusiasts and sprightly pensioners who defy all health problems regardless of their profession, age and life situation. They manage to lead an active life seemingly effortlessly which is an ideal that does not always correspond to reality. Anyone who has to restrict their activity suddenly due to an accident, a prolonged illness or a typical age-related complaint and needs a lot of bed rest will soon feel the effects: A healthy back cannot be taken for granted. It needs exercise and an appropriate load. Only a strong back can stabilise the whole body. Lack of exercise and long periods of lying down put it to the test. For people who are confined to bed for long periods due to illness, mobility is difficult and there is a risk of muscle atrophy, increased back pain and even long-term postural damage.
Regeneration while sleeping
To prevent problems in the best possible way, choosing the right bed is crucial.
Ideally, this supports and relieves the spine. To promote movement you should not sink into the mattress. Only then does the body to regenerate and incorrect pressure and pressure points, which can lead to pressure sores (decubitus ulcers) can be avoided. There are even special mattresses with microstimulation for patients with certain medical conditions: They are designed to adapt the suspension to the needs of those affected. Patients with dementia, Parkinson's disease, pressure sores or chronic pain benefit from different degrees of firmness and mattresses with basal stimulation. The latter generate fine motor stimuli that reach the brain via the nerve tracts and thus promote self-movement during sleep. How the head is supported also plays a role. A neck and back friendly pillow can provide individual support in every sleeping position and adapts to your needs. This prevents and effectively counteracts tension, pain and poor posture.
Finding the right balance
"If you're sick, you should go to bed." Right… right?
What seems relatively logical at first is only recommended to a limited extent for patients with chronic pain. Anyone suffering from osteoarthritis, rheumatism or osteoporosis (the most common ailments in old age in Germany) or experiencing a painful acute slipped disc will reflexively take it easy. This is understandable as even a short walk or the trip to the supermarket can be a challenge with such handicaps. Those affected avoid any additional, unnecessary activity for the simple reason that it is associated with pain. However, excessive rest can lead sufferers into a downward spiral of pain, lack of exercise and declining performance.
Finding the right balance
It is all the more important that patients remain mobile and train their general strength and mobility in an appropriate and back friendly way.
There are a wide variety of aids available: from walking aids such as rollators or stair climbing aids to online training programs, fascia rollers and heat pads. All of this can help to maintain the patient's independence in the long term or restore it after an accident. The right amount of exercise and training is crucial. Anyone who overdoes it after a slipped disc, for example, and puts incorrect strain on their back is putting their recovery at risk. However, if you listen to your body, you will usually realise that: What is possible is in fact more than originally expected.
- Restful sleep is the best way to regenerate your body.
- Aids such as therapy mattresses help to avoid side effects caused by lying down for long periods (e.g. pressure sores).
- Appropriate physical exertion in everyday life maintains the muscles.