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How to Improve Bed Mobility for Bedridden Patients: Tips and Techniques by Physiotherapist

For bedridden patients, lack of movement can lead to a range of issues such as muscle atrophy, joint stiffness, pressure ulcers, and respiratory complications. One crucial aspect of care for bedridden patients is bed mobility training, a targeted physical therapy that focuses on techniques and exercises to help improve patients' ability to move and reposition themselves in bed.




Bed mobility training
Bed mobility training


What are the primary goals of bed mobility training?

Bed mobility training helps bedridden patients in terms of :

  • To reduce the risk of complications like pressure ulcers, joint contractures, and muscle atrophy by promoting regular movement

  • To help preserve muscle strength, preventing the loss of function and improving overall endurance

  • To promote independence

  • To improve blood circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots

  • To enhance comfort and improve overall quality of life despite bedridden

In short, regular bed mobility exercises empower patients by enabling them to perform basic activities independently. Simple tasks such as turning in bed, sitting up, or changing positions become more manageable, fostering a greater sense of autonomy for bedridden patients and improved mental well-being.

 
Bed mobility: Exercises & Techniques by Physiotherapist

Here are some bed mobility exercises and techniques that can be beneficial for stroke patients: 1. Rolling Side to Side




  • Begin with the patient lying on their back.

  • Encourage them to turn their head toward the direction they want to roll.

  • Assist the patient in bending their knees and, with support, gently guide them to roll onto their side.

  • The legs & trunk move together.

  • Repeat on both sides to promote balance and prevent pressure sores.


2. Bridging



  • Instruct the patient to bend their knees while lying on their back.

  • Encourage them to push through their feet and lift their hips off the bed, creating a bridge shape.

  • Hold this position briefly before lowering the hips back down.

This exercise helps strengthen the hip and lower back muscles. 3.⁠ ⁠Bed Transfers



  • Help the patient practice moving from the bed to a chair or wheelchair.

  • To transfer patient from bed to wheelchair, make sure patient helps use the strong un-affected side to stand up

  • Pivot rotation during transferring should be perform step by step, not at wide range of motion

  • Use proper body mechanics and assistive devices as needed such as transfer belt to ensure safety during transfers.

4.⁠ ⁠Arm and Leg Range of Motion Exercises: bed simple exercises





  • Gentle range of motion exercises for the arms and legs can help maintain joint mobility and prevent contractures.

  • Encourage the patient to move each limb through its full range of motion while lying on bed.

The exercise can be performed segment by segment for every joint or as an integrated functional movement based on the physiotherapist's assessment result.

5.⁠ ⁠Bed Mobility Aids:


Turn over pillow for assisting turning of bedridden patient
Turn over pillow for assisting turning of bedridden patient

Transfer board to ease transferring of patient from wheelchair to bed or vice versa
Transfer board to ease transferring of patient from wheelchair to bed or vice versa


  • Utilize bed mobility aids such as turning cushions, bed rails, or trapeze bars to provide support and assistance during bed mobility exercises.

  • Transfer board highly advised the to patient independently strong upper limbs & done amputation of fully paralyzed lower limbs.

6.⁠ ⁠Pillow and Positioning: ARM SLING & PILLOW


Positioning bedridden patient with pillows
Proper Pillow Positioning of Bedridden Patient


  • Properly position pillows to support the patient's affected side and prevent contractures.

  • Pillows can be used to prop up the patient's arm or leg as intervention to reduce swelling.

  • Pillow also can be used as support to hold the body in certain position after repositioning on bed for fully bedridden patient.


7.⁠ ⁠Safe body movement:




  • Always prioritize safety during bed mobility exercises. Use proper body mechanics, assistive devices, and support as needed to prevent falls or injury.

  • Make sure the patient in pain pain-free during movement or at least the lowest bearable pain level during positioning.

8.⁠ ⁠Gradual Progression: SQUAT WALKER, SQUAT INDIE




  • Begin with gentle exercises and progress as the patient gains strength and confidence.

  • Tailor the exercises to the individual's abilities and limitations.

  • The exercise regime must follow all lists of contraindicated or precautions for specific cases like post-operation for fracture or after-done open heart surgery procedure.

Content provided by: Physiotherapist En Azrul Naim Video/Edited by: Pharmacist Goh Khang Phing
 
Remeds Homecare specializes in providing home physiotherapy services to patients who require physiotherapy treatment but prefer to receive it in the comfort of their own homes in Northern and Southern Malaysia, including Penang, Sungai Petani, and Johor Bahru.
Learn more about our home physiotherapy service here.

Home Physiotherapy Remeds_Penang, Butterworth, Sg Petani, Johor, Kuala Lumpur

Contact us : 010-8823994

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