Did anybody reprimand you from slouching off the sofa? Did your mother tell you to sit up straight? If they did – thank them, because these statements in which youíd probably not think of are golden advices towards a healthy posture. Using proper body positioning in your everyday lives has a holistic effect to your well-being as a whole. Right Positioning has a lot to benefit such that it provides comfort, reduces the risk of skin breakdown, promotes skin integrity, and promotes healing. Positioning and turning are an integral part of a holistic care and can be used in everyday living. However positioning also can either be a dangerous or beneficial depending on the several factors such as the age, and current health status. That is why let us learn how these factors affects your positioning.
Position in Proper Body Alignment
Basically proper positioning is necessary to prevent development of musculoskeletal deformities such as contractures or sudden spasms. Good Body Alignment is an important component of a proper body position. Without proper body alignment will likely demonstrate poor body foundation. Itís like an analogy of a well-built building on a well-built ground base that will surely survive for a long period of time despite certain unexpected events such as earthquakes and landslides. That is why activities that promote a proper body alignment are as follows:
- Sufficient number of pillows should be available to maintain body alignment. When extremities are weak and paralyzed, it should be positioned to approximate any joint space. You can also place a small pillow or wedge in the axillary region to help prevent adduction of the shoulder.
- Always place your pelvis in a middle position, in between an arched back and a rounded back. This will promote good alignment of the spine.
- When sitting in a chair, you head must be straight without bending the neck. The trunk should be upright without bending or curving. Arms and hands are to be supported on armrest or tabletop. Hips and knees should be flexed. The feet are to be flat on the floor or footrest with the ankles at a 90 degree angle.
- When trying to lift someone from bed, you should never lift then in bed by grasping under the armpit and shoulder. Instead you can use a draw sheet under a person to lift him/her up in bed. Brachial plexus nerve damage is a common nerve injury that can occur when there is hyperextension of the arm.
Active Range-of-Motion Exercises
The benefits of active range-of-motion exercises include promotion of activity and reduction of pressure on tissues. This activity can help maintain muscle strength and promote skin integrity secondary to increased blood flow. ROM exercises are performed several times a day depending on your available time. This will help maintain full flexibility, maintain muscle tone and prevent contractures that improve circulation.
As what mentioned above, position varies from one person to another. One factor that defines this is the current health status of an individual. Such that specific condition with appropriate position intervention are as follow:
Position with Respiratory Difficulties
If an individual has respiratory difficulties, it is best to position in a side-lying or sitting position. The two position helps facilitates optimal lung expansion. If there is good lung expansion air can go inside the lungs and the exchanges of oxygen to other tissues are accommodated.
Position with Nuerological Problems
If patient has problems related to the brain, then one goal towards proper positioning is to decrease the pressure building inside it. To facilitate this bed must only be elevated not more than 30 degree angle. This position will improve the perfusion of blood to the brain providing room for brain cells to function optimally.
Postion considerations to Elderly
Because of normal physiologic changes that occur with aging, there are some more specific turning and positioning activities that need to be included in the plan of care for the elderly. Older adults are particularly vulnerable to the development of pressure ulcers as a result of changes in the skin. With this the regimen of turning elderly every 2 hours is recommended. Another is to demonstrate ROM exercise slowly and carefully to prevent unnecessary fractures.