Rest, relaxation and sleep
Set aside time every day for complete physical and mental relaxation. De-stressing is important for normal health, not just in recuperating from illness or injury!
When sitting, choose a chair that is adequately firm to hold your weight comfortably, and sit upright. Do not sit in over-stuffed, soft chairs. Reclining chairs are acceptable provided that your back is in a normal, straight position when sitting in them.
Cross your legs only at the ankles, NOT at the knees. Crossing your legs at the knees can aggravate and existing back condition as well as circulation to the lower limbs.
Ensure you get plenty of sleep to allow your body time to recuperate and repair.
Sleep on a firm mattress, one that’s neither too hard or soft, but just firm enough to hold your body level while at the same time soft enough to hold your body level but allowing your shoulders and buttocks etc. to sink a little into it.
Your pillow should be the right height so it supports your head keeping your neck vertebrae level with the rest of your spine. Avoid sleeping on two pillows and never lie on a couch with your head on the arm rest.
Sleep on your back or on your side with your legs flexed slightly, not drawn up tightly. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Raise your head off the pillow when changing positions.
Rise from your bed by turning on your side and swinging your legs off the bed, then push yourself into a sitting position, with your arms, thus minimising the amount of strain on your back.
Do not read or watch TV in bed, particularly with your head propped up at a sharp or strained angle.
Do not sleep sitting in a chair or in cramped quarters. Lie down in bed when it is time to sleep.
Lying with one leg straight and the other bent, and supported by a cushion, as shown. Relax for a while in this position and swap sides.
Lying on your back on the floor with a cushion under your head. Support your legs on a chair keeping your hips and knees at right angles. Relax like this for about 20 minutes.
How rest can help us
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