Posture Drainage: Does It Really Work?
The answer is yes! Postural Dampening (or Posture Damping) is one of the most effective ways to reduce pain and swelling after surgery or injury. If you have ever tried it, you will understand why it works so well. You may not believe it at first, but once you try it, you will see that your body does indeed respond very positively to this technique.
It’s true that there are other techniques that do work better than posture dampening, but they all require some sort of physical therapy. And if you don’t like the idea of spending time in a hot sauna, then those methods aren’t going to be for you.
What Is Posture Dampening?
Posture dampening is simply changing your position during the day so that when you lie down at night your body doesn’t fall into a deep sleep state. Your muscles stay active throughout the day, which helps prevent muscle soreness and stiffness later in the week.
There are two types of postures that can be used to achieve this effect: lying down with legs crossed over each other or sitting up straight with your back against a wall. There are many different variations of these positions, but they all follow certain basic principles.
How To Do This At Home
You may be wondering how you can get this posture dampening effect without a physical therapist. It’s actually pretty easy. You may not need to do it as much once your muscles get used to the new position, but it’s a good idea to spend at least an hour a day in these positions until then.
Find a place where you can sit up against a wall (or lie down on the floor with your legs crossed). Use a cushion or pillow if you prefer to make this more comfortable. When you cross your legs, make sure the ankle of the top leg rests at the top part of your bottom thigh, just above the knee.
Both legs should make a 90-degree angle. You can use a book or anything similar to measure this angle and adjust it until it feels right for you. Rest your back against the wall. If you feel any pain or discomfort in your back, then adjust the position of your body until it feels right.
How This Reduces Swelling And Pain
This technique has two main effects on the muscles in your legs:
The pressure of your legs pushing on each other causes a release of nitric oxide, which leads to an increase in circulation. This helps to boost the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to your leg muscles.
The Crossing Ritual shortens your hip flexors and opens up your hip joint. This allows greater freedom of movement in your hip and lower back area.
Both of these effects help to reduce the pain and swelling that is caused by sitting up straight in a chair all day.
Other Techniques For Managing Pain And Swelling
Posture dampening is just one of many techniques for managing pain and swelling in your legs. Other great ways to manage pain and swelling include:
Ice packs can be used to reduce pain and swelling. Simply fill a zip lock bag with water and freeze it, then place the ice pack on the painful or swollen area of your legs for as long as you need to. Do not put the ice pack on any open wounds you might have, and do not keep the ice pack in direct contact with your skin for too long.
Use a cloth or tissue to protect your skin if you need to.
Stretching exercises can be used to keep your muscles flexible and reduce pain and swelling. You don’t need any special equipment to perform these stretches; you only need to use the floor or anything similar in your home.
To do a standing hamstring stretch, stand up straight and place one foot ahead of the other with the knee slightly bent. Keeping your back straight, lean forward until you feel the stretch in the back of your legs and hips. Hold the position for ten to fifteen seconds, then relax and repeat this stretch two more times.
Another great way to keep your lower back flexible is to do a reaching twist exercise. To do this, stand up straight with your arms down at your side and make a big reach with your right arm and twist your body towards that side. Hold the position and keep breathing for ten to fifteen seconds, then relax and repeat this stretch two more times (once on each side).
The Best Way To Manage Your MS
No two people with Multiple Sclerosis are exactly alike. What works really well for one person might not work at all for another person. The best way to manage your MS is to figure out what techniques work best for you and which ones you would rather avoid.
Return to the Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms page.
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Sources & references used in this article:
… to percussion and postural drainage: a review of mucus clearance therapies: percussion and postural drainage, autogenic drainage, positive expiratory pressure … by B Langenderfer – Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and …, 1998 – journals.lww.com
A comparison of postural drainage and positive expiratory pressure in the domiciliary management of patients with chronic bronchial sepsis by TM Kaminska, SB Pearson – physiotherapy, 1988 – Elsevier
Forced expiratory technique, directed cough, and autogenic drainage by JB Fink – Respiratory care, 2007 – rc.rcjournal.com
Treatment of glue ear by postural drainage. by TC Galloway – Journal of the American Medical Association, 1939 – jamanetwork.com
Airway-clearance therapy guidelines and implementation by B James – Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1992 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
The effects of postural drainage, manual percussion and vibration versus postural drainage and mechanical vibration on maximal expiratory flows by MK Lester, PA Flume – Respiratory care, 2009 – rc.rcjournal.com
Rapid Method for Isolation of Organic Poisons by MB Hartsell – 1978 – repository.arizona.edu