If you have a new spine fracture that is painful, bed rest is recommended during the acute pain stage because lying down puts less pressure on the spine than sitting or standing. Bed rest should be limited to only a few days, just until the acute pain subsides and becomes more manageable.
Positioning in Bed
Whatever position you assume in bed, make a conscious effort to keep the spine and legs as stretched out or lengthened as much as possible rather than in a rounded position to help reduce the strain on the spine.
Turning over in bed
- Before you attempt to turn over, try to get your spine as stretched out or as lengthened as possible.
- Start by turning your head in the direction you are going to turn, then try to turn the shoulders and hips together as one unit. Roll your whole body over like a log.
It is important to realize that in the first few days you will feel pain even if you move correctly; the pain will eventually subside.
Getting out of bed
- Keep the spine as lengthened as possible and get to the side of the bed.
- Lower your legs over the side of the bed while you push with both arms to come up sideways.
- Imagine steel rods up your spine to keep the spine as close to neutral as possible while you get yourself into a seated position.
- Once you are sitting up on the side of the bed, try to sit as tall as possible.
- Keep your head up and slowly get your feet onto the floor as you hold on to a walker. If you don’t have a walker, you can place a chair with a tall back that you can use as a handrail beside the bed.
- Hold on to the chair or walker while you get into an upright standing position.
Getting into Bed
To get back into bed, reverse the process used to get out of bed.
- Sit on the side of the bed.
- Slowly lower yourself sideways and pull your legs up onto the bed.
- Keep the spine lengthened or as stretched out as much as possible and gently turn on to your back. Turn you head first then the shoulders and hips at the same time as one unit.
Standing and Walking
What Is A Neutral Spine?