Use care when twisting or turning. Excessive or sudden movements can exacerbate an injury, especially in the neck.
Do not "self-adjust." Also, avoid poking or rubbing areas that your doctor has treated.
Take care not to overstretch or overreach. Avoid lifting objects overhead and bending your neck in an extreme fashion. Be cautious when shampooing and brushing your hair since the arms are above the head or the neck is tilted.
Give yourself time every day to just sit and relax, mentally and physically. This special time is essential not only to restoration but to the maintenance of optimal health.
How should objects be lifted?
Bend at the knees and hinge at the hips to pick up objects, keeping the spine straight. Do not stoop or bend at the lower back, as this places excessive strain on the lower back.
Injuries often result from twisting with weight. To avoid strain, hold objects close to the body when moving them, turning the whole body rather than just the upper portion.
What is important to know when exercising with my injury?
Choose activities that are simple and strengthening rather than those that may be jarring, placing stress on the spine and neck.
Perform a 5-minute, low-impact warm up before performing strenuous exercise or before stretching.
How should I sit or lie with my injury?
Stand tall. . THINK tall, and be mindful of your posture at all times.
Sit in comfortable chairs that support your weight adequately. Sit straight! Avoid overstuffed and soft chairs that do not support posture. A recliner is acceptable if the back is maintained in a straight position when reclining.
Cross legs at the ankles rather than the knees, as this is gentle on the back and does not impede proper circulation to the lower extremities.
Avoid watching TV or reading while lying down, particularly in a position where your head is elevated at a sharp angle.
What is the proper sleeping posture?
Sleep is essential to physical repair and recuperation, so get plenty.
Try to sleep on a mattress that is firm enough for your frame. Too hard or too soft and the body is not properly supported. The softness of your mattress should allow the buttocks, shoulders, etc. to depress into the cushioning slightly.
Choose a pillow that supports the head and the vertebrae of the neck in a position that is level with the rest of the spine. Avoid sleeping with a pillow that is too high or too low and do not lie on a sofa with your head resting on the arm.
Ideally, you will sleep on your back or side with a slight bend in the knees. Stomach sleeping should be avoided. When moving, raise your head off your pillow.
Keep the spine in a neutral position while you sleep by placing a pillow either between the knees, if you are sleeping on your side or beneath the knees if you are sleeping on your back.
Reduce back strain when getting out of bed by turning onto your side first and then sliding legs off the side of the bed before pushing yourself up to a seated position.
When do I use heat or cold?
Heat can be used for areas of stiffness or for aches as well as for old injuries.
Areas that are warm to the touch or painful or have been recently injured can be treated with cold. Cold is also a good remedy for stabbing pain, burning, and sharp pains.
As a general rule of thumb: Ice for the first 24-48 hours after an injury. Heat beyond that ,unless there has been a re-aggravation, in which case ice would again likely be best. However, whatever your body is telling you in regards to what is working or not, should override any generalities.