Caregiver’s Self-Kindness: Finding What Works Best

download (41)Lack of self-kindness can lead to the loss of identity, the blues, symptoms of depression, or a medical diagnosis of depression. You don’t need any of these things at this time of life. Instead, identify the self-kindness steps that work for you–a trial and error process. While you’re figuring this out, you need to continue to be a caregiver and take care of yourself.

Like buying new shoes, you have to “try on” self-kindness. You may eat lunch out with a friend for weeks, until you realize this is costly self-kindness. A new hobby may grab your attention until you realize you don’t like it. Getting together with family members can be self-kindness, but this is difficult if relatives live far away, and your meetings are few.

Whether you are a volunteer family caregiver or a paid health care professional, each caregiver has to determine the self-kindness steps that work for them. I’m in my 19th year of caregiving and am also a health and wellness writer. To produce articles and books I need time for thought and research. Therefore, I build quiet time into every day. In fact, quiet is my top self-kindness step.

Mike O’Connor cites examples of self-kindness in his article, “40 Ways to Practice Self-Kindness,” posted on the Kindness blog. Some ideas, such as drinking plenty of water, sound simple. In reality, staying hydrated is crucial to good health. Another of his suggestions is to learn to accept compliments and resist the urge to deny them. Being emotionally honest, asking for help, mindful eating, and limiting the time we spend with difficult people are more of his suggestions.

The question is, “What works best for me? You may have to get better at self-talk, for example. At the end of the day, if you find your thoughts slipping into the negative zone, counter these thoughts with positive ones. Doing this takes practice. Focusing on the benefits of caregiving can be helpful. Remember, you’re making a difference in someone’s life.

Be willing to change course. Keeping a self-kindness step that doesn’t make you feel better is a waste of your time and energy. Nix that step from your list and head in a new direction. You may be stymied on this direction and, if so, ask a caregiver friend, or member of your support group, or a member of an online support group, for some ideas.

In their book, The Tough and Tender Caregiver, David A. Travland, PhD and Rhonda Travland compare the caregiver’s needs to the care receiver’s needs. “If the caregiver cannot continue to be a whole person,” they write, “he or she is not going to be much good as a caregiver.” The goal of self-kindness is to keep what makes you the person you are, and energize you for the weeks ahead.

You are worthy of this goal. In order to reach it you need to be mindful of your feelings. Determine which self-kindness steps work best for you and stick with them. You may also wish to put these steps in writing and post them on the refrigerator door. The best person to practice self-kindness is you.



Can Your Fitness Tracker Work Against You?

download (40)Fitness trackers are all the rage right now, but there’s one aspect of activity tracking most people never think about – the tracking part. Just like a cellphone or any other tracking device, an activity tracker logs data related to your whereabouts (or past whereabouts). In other words, your fitness tracker could work against you!

A Florida Case
Currently, the information logged by a fitness tracker is being used as part of a court case. A Florida woman claimed that she was raped while staying at her boss’s house, but her activity tracker shows that she did not do the things she claimed to do the night prior.

This woman claimed to be sleeping the night before the attack, but her tracker data shows that she was up and walking around all night – police suspect she was staging the scene of the crime.

This is just one case where fitness trackers are being used to hold people accountable. The data that a tracker logs can be used against someone in a court of law, and more and more this is what’s happening.

Used as Proof Too
Fitness trackers might be able to help you when it comes to proving limited mobility too. A good example is a case happening in Canada right now. A few years ago, a woman was injured in an accident. This accident drastically cut down on her mobility.

Her lawyer is currently trying to show a court just how limited she is by showing the data logged on her activity tracker – the amount of mobility she has right now is far below what someone her age should be able to do. Data from fitness trackers can be used in court in this manner as well, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Keeping Your Data Safe
There are some concerns about the safety and privacy of fitness trackers too. Not only can these trackers be used for accountability purposes, but it’s also possible that the data stored in a tracker might be widely available to the right hacker.

So just how safe is your activity tracker? It is recommended that you use your tracker when you plan to be active, but remove it when you are at home. Of course, this somewhat defeats the purpose of tracking all of your steps in one day, but it might protect you against hacks.

The bottom line here is to understand that any device developed to track your movements does just that – this kind of data is recorded at all times. If you keep this important detail in mind, fitness trackers can be used safely.



Signs and Symptoms of Emotional Distress

download (39)Most people suffering from this form of distress find that they have very poor sleep quality. Sleep is essential to your overall well being and finding that your sleep is lacking or you fall asleep but cannot stay asleep will have a negative impact on you daily. Poor sleep quality comes out in other forms, such as exhaustion, struggle to concentrate and so much more, which only add to the signs and symptoms you are already facing with this form of distress.

Another sign you may not that may have you wondering if you are suffering and need emotional distress psychotherapy is weight fluctuations. Everyone is under the impression that when you are stressed you will lose weight, but this is not the case. In fact, many people suffering with distress find that they can lose weight and they put it on just as easily. Some find comfort in eating, which results in them putting on the pounds and then the next week, they cannot eat and the weight falls off them again.

A very common sign of emotional distress is headaches. Unfortunately this form of distress plays out as overall health issues and experiencing headaches that don’t seem to ease and you suffer with them daily can be a sign of an underlying issue, such as stress. You may also find that even though you exercise regularly, your body aches. The most common aches and pain you will experience due to distress is the shoulders and lower back, though the pain can come through from anywhere. Ensure if you are struggling to sleep, your weight is fluctuating and you are experiencing pain and you know you are stressed that you seek professional help.

You may find that you are experiencing stomach problems from diarrhea to constipation to as far as irritable bowel syndrome. All of these can make you uncomfortable and can leave you feeling more unhappy each day than the distress you are experiencing.

It is very common when suffering from any form of emotional distress that you have a short fuse and this can lead to a bad temper. Some people find that they have mood swings, going from happy to angry within seconds, while others find that they get angry at anything and have a flaring temper until they have started working with an emotional distress psychotherapist who helps them with coping and breathing techniques to keep their emotions and temper under control.

Many emotional distress psychotherapists advise that some people suffering from this form of distress play out in an obsessive behaviour of some kind. This may be checking the front door is locked ten times before going to work to running back home every day to make sure they haven’t left the oven on. Obsessive disorders are exceptionally common in anyone suffering from emotional distress. The good news is that this can be managed with the right care and help.

In addition to this, anyone suffering from emotional distress will find that they are tired all the time, they have no energy, their memory is poor and to top it off, they start losing interest in a social life. They start putting off friends and family to stay home alone.

London Therapy Foundation (LTF) is a consortium of registered and qualified psychotherapists and counsellors offering a range of mental services from marriage counselling to depression and addiction to anxiety. LTF formed with the highest level of service in mind and their access centre is conveniently located close to the M25. Their website is brimming with information on the mental health professionals and enables patients to access counselling without a long waiting list.



Where to Start Your Health and Fitness Lifestyle Journey

download (38)Once we have noticed a problem in our lives or maybe something just missing and we come to the decision that the problem is that we are not living our lives quite as well or as fully as we should be living it, many of us have to step back a second and come to the realization that we do not know where to start. What changes should we make? Should I just dive right in fully submerged in this new lifestyle? How often and long should I be working out? These are all questions I am going to answer and more with specific instructions along with experiences of my own.

The first thing that you must do is decide on a goal for yourself. Do you want to lose weight? Do you just want to be living better? Both will lead to the same lifestyle later but if you are trying to lose weight your diet and exercise will need to be stricter. You should, also, not shy away from setting specific goals; goals that include time frames and are measurable and most importantly realistic and possible to be done in a healthy manner.

Next comes the mental prep. You need to prepare yourself for what is to come. You must be mentally tough in order to make a real life change. It will be hard and you will have moments of weakness, but you must be strong in will. This is why setting specific goals is important. Without specific goals people often lack the proper motivation that changing their lifestyle requires.

Now for the actions to be taken; let’s start with nutrition and diet. Firstly, you must remember that when grocery shopping never bring junk food into your home just because. Stop buying soda, chips, unhealthy crackers and snacks. Simply put, if they are not available you cannot have them. Limit or eliminate your intake of the obvious junk food. Now, I will not tell you that you must completely eliminate junk food right off the bat or even ever. I believe in balance. It is okay to indulge every once in a while. How I personally control my cravings and my indulgences is by only ever having those craving foods when I am eating out or on a special occasion. This is possible because I do not have these craving foods in my own home. That way I am consistently eating the things that I actually should be.

Next, you can never go wrong with vegetables. Eat as many as your heart desires and do not worry about calories when it comes to vegetables. Try to eat fresh produce or frozen and stay away from canned vegetables if possible as they are filled with preservatives and sodium. Of course you should be eating fruit as well, but make sure you are not just drinking fruit juices and smoothies as these contain no fiber. Do not overdo it on the fruits either as they do contain healthy nutrients and vitamins, but they are also high in sugar. Too much sugar in any form is bad.

When you are grocery shopping, be sure to look at nutrition labels. Know to watch out for high levels of sodium, fat, and sugar. Do not be fooled by non-fat items as they often include more sugar. Do not be too afraid of all fat as our body needs it to function. Just make sure your intake of fats is of unsaturated fats. One of my greatest fears in food is sugar. This is because I had no idea until the past few years how much sugar is in our foods. Women should only be taking in 25 grams of sugar per day and men should only be taking in 37 grams. Lastly, try to avoid the more middle aisles in the grocery store as the more you work your way towards the middle the more you are surrounded by highly processed foods. Stick the basics with real whole ingredients. I am not a registered nutritionist or dietician so I try not to give people advice that I personally have not experienced. So, I do recommend that you do some reading on your own from RELIABLE sources. I cannot stress that enough. Make sure all reading material you look towards is accurate information as so much of it out there, especially on the internet, is not.

Now, I am sorry but for the exercise portion I have to be a little vaguer. This is because everyone’s bodies require different things. Start by deciding where you want to be working out. Will you want to be doing it at home? Will you want to work out outside? Do you want to join a gym? This will dictate what kind of exercising you will be doing. If you want to work out at home you might try a highly rated workout program or home workout videos. There are also online subscriptions to workout videos as well as the free option of YouTube. I caution you, if you choose to work out at home it is easy to slack off so make sure you hold yourself accountable or have a friend join you so that you can hold each other accountable.

If you choose to join a gym, explore all the gyms in your area and make sure you choose the one that seems the best for you. The gym you join should feel like a safe place for you. Gyms can be intimidating at first. I think the best weapon against intimidation from the unknown is having a plan. Personally, when I was afraid to go into my gym I would look up workout routines so I knew exactly what I wanted to be doing while I was in there and so that I would not be nervous or embarrassed of looking like I don’t belong. Know that no one is judging you.

Find out if you enjoy just straight cardio, lifting weights, a combination of both, or something completely different such as dance workouts. Once you have found something that makes exercising fun your motivation will be much easier for you to maintain.

The last thing that I want to cover about your healthy and fit lifestyle journey is staying accountable. Make sure that before you start on this journey that you hold yourself accountable for your actions. For some people their internal drive is enough to keep them going, but for others it is not as easy. For these people I suggest telling one or many people about what you plan to do. Have others watching you so that you don’t slip up or if you do you have support. I also recommend going on this journey with a partner or friend. These changes are much easier to undergo if you are not going it alone. Lastly, don’t beat yourself up too much if you slip up every once in a while. You are forever learning and making mistakes and learning from them, but as long as you have a strong will and goals set, there is no reason you can’t accomplish them. Good luck!



Bursitis: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

download (37)First things first… there are about 160 bursae throughout the human body. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac lined with special cells which secrete a lubricating fluid rich in collagen and proteins. It functions as a gliding surface to decrease friction between the bones, tendons, and muscles near the joints. Bursitis, then, is inflammation of a bursa, and it can cause mild, moderate, or even severe pain.

Bursitis is commonly located in the shoulder, elbow, knee, and hip, but can also occur in the heel and the base of your big toe. Overall, it tends to localize near joints that perform repetitive movements. Treatment generally involves resting the affected joint and shielding it from further damage, and with proper treatment, the pain associated with bursitis goes away within a few weeks, but flare-ups of bursitis are common.

How Do I Know? Bursitis Causes and Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of bursitis are aching and stiffness in your joints, pain during movement, redness and swelling near the joint, and pain with pressure at the site of the bursitis. You should definitely talk to your doctor if you have any of the following: fever, excessive swelling, redness, bruising, joint pain that is severe or that lasts for over two weeks, or shooting pains when you exercise or exert yourself.

If you have had an injury or trauma to the joint, inflammatory arthritis, gout, or an infection, or even if you make repetitive movements that irritate the bursae around a joint, you are more likely to get bursitis. As a matter of fact, even prolonged sitting on hard surfaces can cause the bursae in your hips to react with inflammation. This is why it’s important to get up and move if you sit most of the day. Even leaning on your elbows or lifting something over your head repeatedly can cause bursitis.

A Risky Business

There are some factors that can increase your risk of getting bursitis. Bursitis, like arthritis, becomes more common with age, but anyone who has a job or hobby that involves repetitive movements or pressure on specific bursae is at a higher risk of developing bursitis. Some examples of occupations that use repetitive motion include tile setting, painting, playing a musical instrument, and carpet installation. In addition, there are some conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and diabetes that can increase your risk of getting bursitis.

Bursitis Treatment

  • Using padding or guards for the areas of the body where the bursae are especially close to the surface of the skin, like the ankles and knees.
  • The areas of the body affected by bursitis can be rested (and if possible, elevated) to help stop the symptoms. Although exercise is important to keep muscles toned, you may need to choose exercises that don’t involve painful motions. The best exercise that does not put too much pressure on the bursae is swimming.
  • Icing the affected area can be quite effective in reducing the pain and inflammation. If you don’t have small ice packs available, you can use packages of frozen vegetables. Apply the ice pack to the area for 10 minutes at least twice a day to help decrease inflammation.

Beyond Bursitis

Living with bursitis, like arthritis, can be very painful and frustrating, but with the right treatment and pain management, you don’t have to let it control your movement.



Body Fat – How It Affects Our Health

download (36)World over, there is the general misinformation about ‘body fat’ and ‘obesity’. While obesity has gained the proportions of a global epidemic, the importance of body fat in the right proportions cannot be dismissed completely. Too little or too much of body fat can lead to health issues.

‘Body fat’ is a term used in familiar tones and most people tend to link it with cholesterol levels and obesity. The body requires certain amounts of fat for metabolic and structural functions although excess amounts of it can have severe health implications. Fat is naturally produced in the body by the absorption of fats from the foods we consume. The metabolism breaks down the fat and two byproducts – glycerol and fatty acids – are released into the body. Glycerol is processed by the liver into glucose which is the storehouse of energy; fatty acids are the major source of energy for the major body tissues, especially the skeletal and the cardiac muscles. Hence, the importance of appropriate amounts of fats in the diet is not to be ignored.

Benefits of body fat

Body fats contribute to some major functions and help in the following areas.

• Maintains healthy hair and skin
• Ensures smooth functioning of body cells
• Provides cushioning effect on organs and tissues
• Maintains right body temperature
• Helps absorb vital vitamins such as Vitamins A, E, D and K
• Acts as a shock absorber for bones
• Provides immunity boost to the body from ailments and illnesses.

Why too much body fat is undesirable

Excess body fat affects the body negatively especially if fats are absorbed and not burnt off. When fat accumulates in the body it leads to obesity and triggers health concerns like breathlessness, arthritis, heart diseases, diabetes etc. While tables indicating ideal percentages of fat can vary from region to region, an ideal percentage for men would be 14-17 percentage of the total weight for men and 21-24 percentage of total body weight for women.

In recent decades, as more and more information is gained about obesity and weight loss, it is essential to know fat percentages and how fat loss differs from weight loss. People who have a healthy lifestyle and are athletically built usually weigh more than others who are heavier by body weight on account of excess fat. Here, the latter is more vulnerable to weight-related health issues than the former and the important point is to lose excess fat. Adopting a plan or program that combines a healthy lifestyle that includes fruits, vegetables and whole grains with moderate but regular exercise regimens is the best way to lose fat.



Health – Some Startling Facts Revealed

download (35)Human health has long been an issue of great interest and curiosity besides the subject of vast research and studies. What makes us tick?

The human body is like a well-oiled machine and functions well when all the systems are carrying out their ‘duties’ properly in conjunction with each other. But the larger ‘duty’ of managing the body well rests with us. Health is the vast sum of all functions that humans have to exercise in order to survive in a given situation or environment, the diverse the environment the greater the emphasis on health and its importance. But the irony is that besides illnesses and diseases that are the leading causes of deaths globally, factors like air pollution, water pollution, exposure to chemicals and pesticides also cause millions of deaths each year.

Let’s get in detail some information on this as well as other health related issues from around the world.

Risk factors

Health studies and medical data provide the startling fact that air pollution from industry and vehicle exhaust lead to the premature death of over 3.5 million people each year. When you find that that number is more than the combined deaths from Aids/HIV and Malaria, it is a rather grim picture indeed!

Particulate matter and gases like nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide from vehicular emissions and burning fossil fuels are the leading causes of suppressed lung growth in young children, asthma, diabetes and heart disease. Fetal brain growth is affected severely when pregnant women are exposed to air pollution. Even in countries that have strict legislation in place and have long histories of tackling air pollution, the solution does not seem to be in sight. Globally, several countries are involved in long-running legal tussles with world environmental agencies and pollution control boards over their failure to cut pollution levels. The ill-effects of global warming and the severity in weather patterns is something we have been witnessing for over a decade now.

Nationwide statistics

A recently concluded report on the health and lifestyle habits of Australians has thrown up some very worrying facts. Australian Health Policy Collaboration released ‘Australia’s Health Tracker’ which examines the health of the people in relation to chronic illnesses and associated risk factors. The report concluded that Australia ranks as one of the most obese countries in the world with every fourth Australian being obese or overweight. An overwhelming 92 percent of teenagers had virtually no physical activity while in the adult category nearly 50% were found to have no regular exercise pattern resulting in high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and record-high suicide rates. The report also found that even when Australians were drinking less overall, the culture of binge-drinking was influencing young people to consume alcohol in excessive amount.

Over 50 public health organizations who are signatories to the report have set targets to be achieved by 2025 for individually listed health factors – 25 percent reduction in country-wide mortality rates from common cancers, diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases.



Seniors: Strategies For Preventing Falls and Remaining Independent

downloadWho wants to be independent? I certainly do. To me, it means being healthy and able to do the things in life that give me pleasure. For many seniors, independence can also mean not depending on others for their care. A major cause for a loss of independence for them is falling.

While it’s true that most falls do not result in serious physical injury, there is a profound psychological impact. Once a person falls, they restrict their activities because of the fear of another fall. This action leads to greater risk of falling again, because inevitably they do less physical activity. This fear is very powerful, and negatively affects their lives. This fear is the greatest obstacle for re-establishing balance.

I’ve given several lectures on keeping seniors independent. Before each lecture, I pass around a sheet of paper for the audience to list the three most important areas of concern in their lives. At every lecture, staying independent and preventing falls is at the top of the list by a long shot. This is why I’ve devoted my practice to helping seniors with this issue. I will briefly cover these areas: eyesight, hearing, medications, and keeping one’s environment safe. I will cover proprioception in a subsequent article.

Balance tends to decline with age because it is dependent on three main factors which all interact with one another: vision, hearing, and proprioception. Proprioceptors are specialized sensory receptors on nerve endings found in muscles, tendons, joints, and the inner ear. Eyesight and hearing decline with age, and we may lose a great deal of our proprioception if we are less active and more sedentary. The majority of seniors are sedentary. For most of us, modern life consists of moving from one sitting position to another, leading to a lack of physical activity and strength. The lack of physical activity results in poor proprioception, decreased muscle strength (muscle strength is a major component of balance), and short, tight muscles in the hips and ankles, making balance, and even activities such as walking, a challenge. It also makes the daily tasks of getting up from a chair or toilet, lifting objects, and getting out to enjoy recreative activities difficult, if not impossible.

We all get old, so what can be done to prevent falls and retain independence.

The cerebellum is the area of the brain which coordinates vision, hearing, and proprioception. Like all body tissues, blood circulation is of utmost importance. There are certain foods which enhance circulation (vasodilation). Some of these are cayenne pepper, garlic, onions, rosemary, ginger, and foods containing magnesium. The best of these foods are dark, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, avocados, barley, and oats. Supplements include arginine, niacin or B3 (flush-free), and hawthorne. Please make sure that the supplements don’t interfere with any medications that you take. Extra help for eyes are a class of nutrients called carotenoids. Orange and red fruits and vegetables are rich in carotenoids; to a lesser extent in green, purple, and blue fruits. Zinc, vitamin C and E are also beneficial, but foods are by far the best.

Medications. All drugs carry side effects, even over-the-counter types. Some of the commonly prescribed medications that can affect balance (courtesy of Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School, include: antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, antihistamines for allergies, blood pressure and other heart medications, pain relievers, and sleep aids. Many times, the combination of drugs can negatively affect balance. Have your doctor or pharmacist review all of the medications you take, even over-the-counter.

Make your home safer. At least one-third of all reported falls in the elderly involve environmental hazards in the home.It is useful to conduct a was-through of your home, both inside and out, to identify problems that may lead to falls.

Outdoors: repair cracks and abrupt edges of sidewalks and driveways. Trim shrubbery along the pathway to the home. Keep walk area clear of clutter, rocks, tools, and kid’s toys. Install adequate lighting by doorways and along walkways leading to doors.

For all living spaces: avoid using floor polish or wax. Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep rugs from slipping. Remove things that you can trip over, like shoes, books, clothes, etc. from stairs and other walkways. Know where your pet is before stepping. If you have tiled or wood floors, watch for spilled water. Re-organize your pantry and cabinets so that you can easily reach the items you use frequently. Improve lighting in your home. Hang light-weight shades or curtains to reduce glare. Use a change of color to denote changes in surface types or levels. I use blue painters tape for this purpose. Have grab bars installed next to shower or tub and toilet. Use a flashlight or nightlight when getting up to use the bathroom at night. Finally, avoid over-reaching for objects. Many folks underestimate how far they reach and end up falling. Simply take another step to keep a leg underneath you for support.



5 Basic Tips on Working Out

download (34)When it comes to working out, the “right” way to work out varies from person to person. However there are a few basic tips that most people who work out follow. I will list out 5 basic tips that are used as common guidelines when starting to workout.

Safety First – Safety being probably the most obvious is also probably the most important. When you are a beginner to lifting it is crucial you learn the proper technique and the correct weight your body can handle. Many people who have looked past safety when lifting cannot lift properly now due to an injury in the past from not lifting smart.

Nutrition – Eating properly is crucial when it comes to getting the results you want from working out. Some even say nutrition is more than 50% of the battle when it comes down to getting results. So make sure your feeling your body the right way!

Sleep – Sleep is extremely overlooked when it comes to fitness. It is very important that you are logging in around 8 hours of sleep per night to let your body recover from intense training. Less sleep results in less recovery and less energy which leads to weaker performance and overall weaker results.

Rest Days – Kinda going along with sleep, it is very important to take 1 or 2 days off (some might need more) to really let your muscles heal and grow. A lot of people think they need to lift heavy 7 days a week with no days of to get better results. When in reality, not letting your muscles recover with a day off can harshly slow down results.

Mind set – Upon starting your workout you must have the right mindset. If you go to the gym or where you go to workout and are just going through the motions and just trying to get it over with, you are not gonna come close to the results you want. You gotta want it and get after it when your working out. Focus on each rep and each exercise, know you are in there to make a change and that you know you will.

If you follow these 5 basic tops, you will be where you want to be in no time. Of course once you become more experienced, you can mold your own sort of regiment with these basic tips.



Proper Care for Prosthetics

download (33)Building the perfect prosthetic takes hard work. Proper limb care and skin care is essential to your health and mobility. To avoid swelling, discomfort, abrasions, trapped sweat, bacterial and fungal infections, here are some tips on how to take care of your extremity and skin. These tips are helpful in preventing or avoiding any further damage.

How to take care of your artificial limb:

• Your limb tends to swell in hot water as it dangles when you when you sit or stand in the shower. This will make it difficult to put on your prosthetic. That is why taking a shower at night will help to avoid swelling by raising the limb.

• If you have a prosthetic which is placed below the knee. It is vital never to sleep or sit with a pillow under the knee. This will lead to an inability to straighten the knee.

• For an artificial limb which is placed above the knee, it is important not to sleep with it on. When the limb is resting on a pillow, this promotes hip flexion or inability to straighten the hip. The best way is to place a pillow between your legs. This will help to lengthen the inner thigh muscle and shorten the outer thigh muscle so when you walk you can stand with your feet apart.

• Do not rest your limb over the handle piece of your crutches.

• It’s important to stay active by doing stretching exercises. This can help to straighten your knee and hip. It’ll make it easier for you to walk and lay in bed and will increase overall comfort.

Skin Care Tips for Prosthetics Patients:

• To avoid fungal growth, it is important to wash your prosthetic with soap and water.

• Only use softening creams if the skin is extremely dry and at risk for cracking.

• Do not use alcohol or unknown chemicals on the limb.

• Check your limb for red pressure patches that last more than a few minutes after you remove your extremity; these may be a sign that the socket needs checking. If left untended, these red patches may result in skin breakdown.

There are many people and resources readily available to help with your prosthetic limb and adjusting it for optimal comfort. These specialists can answer any questions as well as give you tips on how to make things more comfortable for your individual situation. If you have a prosthetic limb, don’t live in discomfort get a specialists advice on how you can achieve the optimal fit.