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I’m a married 31 year-old who has been diagnosed with fibromylagia for 12 years. I am on a quest to raise awareness and help others by sharing information and staying positive. Read more
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Preventing Unnecessary Pain

One of the booths at the Arthritis Foundation Conference I attended had great information about fall prevention and proper biomechanics. Did you know that 75% of falls occur at home? Remember that when you’re home, walking in non-skid shoes (not slippers or socks) will aid your ability to grip the floor. In the bathroom, put a rubber mat or non-slip decals in the tub and use grab bars on the tub or shower wall. Make sure that when you’re stepping out of the shower/tub there is a non-skid rug for you to step onto. If you get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, think about using a night light. If getting up from the toilet is difficult, consider using an elevated toilet seat – there are even ones with handles.

It is best for all seats (think desk chair, dining room chair) to be 16 inches off the floor for ease in standing. Of course, armrests can give even more leverage. Make sure all stairways have easily accessible and ample lighting at night and have handrails on both sides. Throw rugs often slide around, so if you must have them, use carpet tape or non-skid mats under them. There are even fall prevention physical therapy programs that you can take to help with flexibility and motion, balance, strength and ways to make your environment more safe. It may be something to consider if you have muscle weakness, a history of falling or notice a medication is making you less stable. These programs are typically covered by most insurance companies and Medicare.

Some keys to proper biomechanics are to take frequent breaks from activities and change positions often to reduce stress on your back and neck. When on a long car rides, get out of the car and stretch every hour. Have the driver avoid sudden lane changes or fast turns that cause your body to quickly sway. At bedtime, lie completely onto your side before rolling onto your back. While sleeping, avoid sleeping on your stomach and have your head level with your body (not tilted higher). When getting out of bed, roll back to your side (like when you got into bed) and then push up with your hand and elbow. After getting into a sitting position you can push up with your hands. This can minimize back pain if you keep your back straight instead of bending forward.

Are there any of these items or actions that you use and find particularly helpful?

woman stretching

Parking lot stretching

*Image Credit: from by Matthew Bietz

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