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Tried and True Strategies Dr. Sisson Has Used With Patients To Improve Sleep & Walks Outdoors…
By Dr. Arnan Sisson, PT
I had a patient come into the office and told me “Dr. Sisson what are the big things I can do to take stress off my body since I’ve retired. I’m 65 and I don’t want to feel like 100!”
It was a great question, because as we get older years of stress builds up. We want to find simple ways to optimize our bodies so we can keep going for walks with our spouses, enjoy a great night’s sleep, and stay off all the painkillers that we know are bad for our health long term.
With all this said, its important to work smart not hard. We need to focus on taking away stress from our bodies and optimizing places in our lives where we spend a majority of time. Hands down this must be on the bed and in our shoes.
So today we’re going to go over the big strategies I gave that woman that walked into my practice on how to optimize her bed/shoes to make her feel like she’s NOT 100 years old!
Take Stress Away From The Bed
First things first, what does the literature say about our beds? Theirs a lot of talk about if the bed is soft, medium, or firm affecting stiffness/pain. But the firmness is just a matter of personal preference.
The research shows that the levelness of the mattress can impact pain levels and stiffness in the neck and back. So go ahead and stand next to your bed, squat down, and look across the mattress. Do you notice any dips or dents in the mattress?
The dips and dents could cause…
So, if these aren’t present your good, but if a dent is there you have a few options. My patients have had good luck with turning the mattress, so the dent is on the other side, place a board under the mattress to pop up the mattress at that point, rotate in a mattress from another room, or just buy a new mattress free of dents.
Take Stress Away With Your Shoes
Our next place where we spend a good bit of our time is in our shoes. And when thinking about ways to take stress off our feet we need to think about foot wear.
I have seen so many folks come into the practice with foot pain from high heels, that I’ll usually recommend patients to not use them or limit their use.
Lacking any support (aka walking barefoot), can potentially cause problems. If a person is used to walking around their home without any shoes though and isn’t experiencing pain that’s fine.
But if you are standing for long periods of time in the home cooking or cleaning and having pain, it’s important that you wear some form of small heeled - supportive shoes to take stress off the feet, knees, and backs. This rule is even more important if you have a history of pain in these areas.
If a person wants to get a little bit more advanced, and go further with feeling looser, younger, and having less pain. Having custom orthotics does a great job at providing even more protection.
I can speak from experience, after a week or so break in period a person can really notice the difference. My own orthotics have really helped me with my long walks in the community and on vacations. I put that to the test last week, we actually headed to Disney with the little one. And I had very little soreness with 6-7 hours of straight walking through the parks!
That’s it for today everyone, feel free to try those tips and remember… movement is medicine!
P.S. If the idea of a custom orthotic is of interest, feel free to give us a ring at (804) 493-3256 or email us at sissonandassociatesPT@gmail.com to set up a free postural scan. During the scan you’ll stand on a platform that scans the 3 arches of your feet with a focused laser and then the shoulders. After the scan, the machine will determine if you even need orthotics and if so the best design to fit your specific foot.