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How Can I Avoid Getting a Pressure Sore? 05 May, 2020   

For those of you lucky enough to be unfamiliar with pressure sores they are areas of damaged skin. Also known as bedsores or pressure ulcers, these painful areas are caused by spending long periods of time in one position. They commonly form where bone doesn’t have much cushion.

Avoiding Pressure Sores

There are several ways to avoid or minimize pressure sores.

1. Get Moving!

One of the best ways to prevent pressure sores is to get moving. Even if you are able to walk only a few steps or just to stand with support for a few minutes each day, this will do wonders in giving those pressure areas some relief.

2. Use Specialty Bedding

Consider a waterbed or an air mattress toppers, or custom cushioned padding to reduce pressure on sensitive points. Memory foam mattresses or pillows may also help.

3. Select a Custom Wheelchair Cushion

Those of us who spend significant amounts of time in wheelchairs can tell you how important having just the right cushion is. A properly designed cushion is more comfortable and cuts down on the possibility of pressure sores.

Technology has come a long way in improving wheelchair cushion design to prevent and ease pressure sores. Be sure to discuss your concerns with an occupational therapist. She/he will work with a provider of wheelchair cushions to select or custom design one which minimizes the possibility of pressure sores.

4. Maintain a Good Skin Care Regimen

Keeping the skin healthy is key. Use a soft sponge or cloth to gently wash the pressure areas. Avoid strong soaps. Shower or bathe daily. Dry pressure areas with soft, absorbent towels. After shower or bath, apply skin protestant cream. Avoid talc powders.

5. Use Pillows to Cushion

Where pressure points develop in such areas as hips, elbows, knees, placing pillows around the pressure area can relieve the soreness. You can buy cushions especially designed to relieve pressure or use available pillows.

6. Change Position Regularly

If you've ever been confined to bed or wheelchair for extended periods, you will know how certain spots can develop soreness. One easy and effective way to ease these areas is to change position often. Just shifting to the side or pushing farther back in your chair is often enough to ease the area. Some wheelchair cushions are designed so you can pump up areas of the seat or release air to change the position that is feeling pressure.

7. Consider Pressure-Relieving Wheelchairs

For those who have limited mobility and/or who lack the strength to shift positions can be fitted with a wheelchair that redistributes their body to ease pressure points.

8. Practice Good Nutrition

A Harvard study investigated increasing protein intake. Dr. Reddy contended that pressure sores healed faster and were less likely to develop when the sufferer adopted a protein rich diet.

Besides making sitting or lying very uncomfortable, pressure sores have deeper health ramifications. They can destroy not just skin but underlying tissue. Left untreated, sores can go all the way into muscle and even bone. Bacteria can thus invade and cause infection. In worst case scenarios sepsis can prove fatal.

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