Chronic Illness Can Affect Your Movement
Living with a chronic illness is a struggle but when you are bedridden, the effects of being immobile can become a medical problem. Chronic illness sufferers who need to spend a lot of their time in bed resting can, unfortunately, suffer from a host of ailments which places more stress on their body and immune system.
Most patients with a chronic illness are expected to stay immobile or in bed for long periods of time, which is not only frustrating but is also a health threat. The effects of prolonged bed rest can cause an array of problems with muscles, bones, joints, circulatory, and even cardiovascular issues.
The Effects Of Bedrest
Although the healing effects of bed rest are often needed for patients to recover, the drawbacks of being constantly bedridden can be detrimental. Prolonged bed rest can cause the body to deteriorate even after only a few days in bed. Bodies are designed to move and when this doesn’t happen, the body starts to weaken.
The musculoskeletal system is designed to support the body when in an upright position and these muscles tend to be affected the most during periods of bed rest. Muscles in the neck, abdomen, lower back, calves, thighs, and even the buttock area start to lose strength in a process called atrophy. Atrophy happens when the muscles are not used, and they start to waste away. This process can cause further complications with balance, coordination, and movement.
Prolonged bed rest can also cause bone density loss. Because the bones are not exposed to weight-bearing activities (which is their function) bones lose their density and this can expose the patient to frequent fractures, sprains or breaks.
Staying immobile for long periods of time can also cause joint ailments which can make simple daily activities a struggle.
Don’t Ignore The Pain
If you find that you have a pain that persists for a few days or weeks, do not ignore the pain as this may lead to life-threatening situations. Visiting your local doctor is a good start in diagnosing your ailment and receiving the medical treatment or attention you need.
Chronic illness sufferers are advised to work with specialists to assist them with ailments caused by their illness or effects thereof. Patients who suffer from musculoskeletal problems should find an orthopedic doctor in their area to receive the specialized care they need. Yale Medicine is the largest academic multispecialty practice in New England that specializes in orthopedics and rehabilitation. An orthopedic doctor from a clinic like this can diagnose and treat ailments in chronic illness sufferers, which can greatly improve their quality of life.
Orthopedic doctors prefer to utilize non-invasive therapies before opting to operate on their patients. Surgery is always the last resort when treating patients with chronic illnesses as to not place added stress on their immune systems and frail bodies.
Unfortunately, bedrest comes with the territory of having a chronic illness and sufferers should educate themselves on how to cope with prolonged periods of bed rest. The smallest amount of gentle movement daily can make a world of difference.
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