Best Wedge Pillows After Knee Replacement Surgery
A leg elevation pillow, also known as a wedge pillow, will be your best friend as you recover from knee replacement surgery. A knee replacement wedge pillow is perfect for elevation and support.
In the days following TKR surgery your doctor will make sure youre elevating your leg in the hospital. But it wont stop when you leave the hospital it didnt for me.
In the months after surgery youll develop a recovery routine.
Elevation, using the best wedge pillow for knee replacement, will likely become an essential part of your routine.
In this article, well discuss the best wedge pillow for knee replacement. Its an often-overlooked item that will help reduce swelling and inflammation in your leg.
Well also discuss why its important to elevate your knee after TKR, why having your knee at or above heart level helps, and how often you should elevate your knee after surgery.
Ill share my experience with knee surgery and the wedge pillow I used. Lastly, Ill share a few of my favorite wedge pillows for knee replacement recovery. Lets get started.
Schedule More Time For Sleep
One of the first thing that Mark M.s doctor told him when he was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis was to forget the rule that you need seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Ive learned that when you have an autoimmune illness you need way more sleep than a normal person, says the 31-year-old from Katy, Texas. During flare-ups I really need 12 to 14 hours of sleep per night so I actually put my early bedtime into my calendar. I treat it like an appointment, non-negotiable.
Articles On Knee Pain
You can do many things to help knee pain, whether it’s due to a recent injury or arthritis you’ve had for years.
Follow these 11 dos and donâts to help your knees feel their best.
Donât rest too much. Too much rest can weaken your muscles, which can worsen joint pain. Find an exercise program that is safe for your knees and stick with it. If you’re not sure which motions are safe or how much you can do, talk with your doctor or a physical therapist.
Do exercise. Cardio exercises strengthen the muscles that support your knee and increase flexibility. Weight training and stretching do, too. For cardio, some good choices include walking, swimming, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and elliptical machines. Tai chi may also help ease stiffness and improve balance.
Donât risk a fall. A painful or unstable knee can make a fall more likely, which can cause more knee damage. Curb your risk of falling by making sure your home is well lit, using handrails on staircases, and using a sturdy ladder or foot stool if you need to reach something from a high shelf.
Do use “RICE.” Rest, ice, compression, and elevation is good for knee pain caused by a minor injury or an arthritis flare. Give your knee some rest, apply ice to reduce swelling, wear a compressive bandage, and keep your knee elevated.
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Use A Neck Roll Or Towel
When Nancys neck is particularly painful, making it so she cant sleep, she has a small foam neck roll that she places at the base of her neck when she lies down. The trick is to keep my neck as straight as possible while I sleep so it doesnt tense up, she says. She adds that when she travels a small rolled up hand towel can also do the trick.
Who Should Use A Knee Pillow
Side sleepers and pregnant women are most likely to benefit from using a knee pillow. ack sleepers and people with back or hip pain can also benefit from using a knee pillow.
- Side Sleepers:Knee pillows promote spinal alignment in side sleepers, relieving pressure from their hips and lower back. Without a knee pillow, side sleepers often find their spine coming out of alignment. Their uppermost leg puts weight on their lower leg. As a result, their hips shift and experience more stress. Using a knee pillow can reduce hip and back pain in side sleepers.
- Pregnant Women: Pregnant women often experience leg cramps and back pain. Using a body pillow or small knee pillow may help by promoting proper spinal alignment.
- Those with Back or Hip Pain: People with back or hip pain might experience relief by adding a knee pillow to their sleep routine. Sometimes pain is caused or exacerbated by improper spinal alignment overnight. Using a pillow to increase support and pressure relief can help.
- Back Sleepers: Back sleepers tend to benefit most from a knee pillow placed beneath rather than between the knees. Placing a pillow beneath the knees of a back sleeper promotes the spines natural curve. It also reduces pressure put on the lower back.
Who should avoid knee pillows:
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How To Assist Your Recovery After Discharge
To ensure your recovery process is as successful as possible, its important to follow your orthopedic surgeons directions as closely as possible. After discharge from the hospital, you will need to:
- Perform strength and mobility exercises and attend physical therapy.
- Maximize rest to minimize the risk of falls
- Use an assistive device such as a walker or cane
- Treat pain, discomfort and swelling with medication, cold packs and elevation
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Being Active And Managing Stress
If youre not tired at the end of the day, it can be harder to get to sleep. If possible, make sure your routine includes:
- Regular exercise.Water-based exercises are good options as they take the weight off your knees. Tai chi and yoga can help with strength and flexibility. Exercise can also help reduce stress.
- Social activities. If youre no longer working, attending a day center, joining a club, or spending time with friends, family, or neighbors can help you get out and about.
If youre concerned that your stress and anxiety levels are too high or never seem to go away, speak to your doctor. They may be able to help with counseling or medication.
A suitable environment and regular sleeping habits can help improve sleep quality.
- making sure the temperature is not too hot and not too cold
- changing to a more suitable mattress, if necessary
- using blackout blinds to keep out the light
- leaving phones and other devices outside the room
- shutting the door if other people are still up and about
- using earplugs to cut out any noise
- if possible, using the bedroom only for sleeping, not for working or watching television
- having a regular time to wake up and go to bed
- avoiding eating a large meal near bedtime
- avoiding drinking too much fluid close to bedtime or you may wake up needing the bathroom
If you feel anxious about falling when you get up in the night to go to the bathroom, add nightlights in key locations to help you see your way.
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Can You Sleep With A Knee Compression Sleeve On
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.
Knee compression sleeves are great alternatives to a knee brace because they offer more mobility while keeping your leg and knee protected. Doctors often recommend them after you are ready to ditch the brace post-surgery or when you have a knee injury that needs just a little bit of support through recovery but doesnt require a brace.
Yes, you can sleep with a knee compression sleeve on but you probably dont need to sleep with one for your recovery. You may need to adjust your sleeping positions to sleep on your side or back if you sleep with a knee compression sleeve on.
You will also need pillows to remain comfortable and reduce knee pain. You will also need to make sure your knee compression sleeve fits exactly to avoid circulation issues.
Read on to find out how to best sleep with a knee compression sleeve and also some things you should be careful about when using them overnight.
What Can I Do To Help
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How To Sleep After Knee Replacement Surgery
- This article was written by Dr. Babar Naeem a licensed and practicing medical doctor to ensure maximum factual accuracy and unique content.
Sleeping after knee replacement surgery can be very difficult.
The main reasons why sleeping after knee replacement surgery is so difficult is due to the pain caused by the trauma of having the tissues cut, the limited range of sleeping positions, and the added stress placed upon the body when rehabilitation therapy begins.
So how can you sleep better after knee replacement surgery?
The most effective ways to sleep better after knee replacement surgery is to take doctor-prescribed pain medications sleep on your back with a pillow under the calf to keep the leg straight and use cold therapy to reduce pain and swelling only take sleep medications if advised by your doctor.
And what are some of the things that you should not do after knee replacement surgery?
After knee replacement surgery you should avoid sleeping on your stomach, bending the knee, putting a pillow under the knee so the leg is bent, crossing your legs, skipping medications, or taking medications not advised by your doctor.
In the rest of this article, I have used my knowledge and experience as a practicing medical doctor to give you 11 strategies for sleeping better after a knee replacement.
But of course, you should always seek medical guidance from your own doctor first for the best advice.
Why Does My Pain Seem To Get Worse At Night
The answer is probably due to a few different reasons. The levels of your natural anti-inflammatory hormone, cortisol, are naturally lower at night. Staying still in the same position will also cause your knee joints to stiffen up. Another reason could be related to how your brain perceives pain and this may change in the small hours.
Your perception of pain is more pronounced at night or to put it another way your pain thresholds are lower at night. Your other senses are distracting you during the day when there is more noise and more going on around you, these distractions are no longer there at night.
In other words, youll notice your pain more at night, so it bothers you more.
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Why Does Knee Pain Feel Worse At Night Causes And Treatments
Knee pain can be frustrating and uncomfortable at any time, but why does it feel so much worse at night? There are many different answers to this question, ranging from genetics to sleeping positions to obesity. In our post, we talk about the many different causes of knee pain so you can find the right treatment for your discomfort and start sleeping better.
What To Avoid When Wearing A Knee Support To Bed
There are a few cautions about wearing a knee compression sleeve to bed.
- First, you dont want it too tight because that will cut off your leg circulation so make sure you dont have any numbness or tingling in the feet.
- You also dont want it too loose or have the ability to slide down your leg. A compression sleeve can bunch up and that causes a tourniquet effect, cutting off circulation.
- Be careful with open, uncovered wounds. You dont want to cover those with a compression sleeve because it could cause irritation and infection.
- Those with little to no feeling in their legs or who have peripheral neuropathy shouldnt wear a compression sleeve to bed.
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Things No One Ever Tells You About Getting A Knee Replacement
Heres what you need to know thats not in the brochure: 1. You might not be a good candidate.A study published last year by researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond questioned the value of knee replacement for some of the people rushing to get it. After analyzing data from a large study of men and women who had the operation, the researchers found that fully one-third of them were not actually good candidates for the surgery, which is why they got only a very modest benefita 2-point improvement on a common measure of knee function, compared with a 20-point improvement for people who started out with really bad knees.
âPain that doesnt go away and moderate to severe arthritis are necessary for a knee replacement to do its job,â Lajam says. âIf you have the surgery, but its actually a problem of nerve pain, hip pain, or circulation, its not going to help you.â The advice here is not to wait until your knees are completely destroyed before seeking surgery, but to make sure that youve tried other measures first and that you meet both criteriaconsistent pain and advanced arthritis.
How Do You Fall Asleep When Youre In Pain
Practicing preventative methods, like wearing a knee brace or icing your knee, is the best way to make sure you wont experience knee pain at night. However, relaxation techniques can help fall asleep quickly even if your need is hurting. Focusing on your breathing can help distract you from the pain.
Take long, deep breaths and think of fun stories or relaxing scenes to distract you until you fall asleep. The next day, you should give your knee a rest and try heat and ice therapy.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Knee Pillows
Can I use a regular pillow as a knee pillow?Yes, but it might not be as comfortable as a designated knee pillow. A regular pillow is often too thin, too thick, or too long to fit properly beneath or between the knees. Knee pillows, however, are specifically designed to fit between or beneath the knees. As a result, they tend to work better at providing comfort.
How much do knee pillows cost?Most knee pillows cost between $20 and $60. That said, there are knee pillows that sell for as little as five dollars and for as much as over $100. The price of a knee pillow depends on its size, the materials it contains, and the brand that manufactures it.
How do I clean a knee pillow?Most knee pillows come with a removable, washable cover. Some knee pillow covers may be washed in a washing machine, while others should be washed by hand. Knee pillow owners should carefully read the manufacturers cleaning instructions prior to washing their knee pillow. Incorrectly washing or drying a knee pillow could damage it and void the warranty.
Where can I buy a knee pillow?Many online and in-person stores that sell mattresses, bedding, or traditional pillows also sell knee pillows. We suggest visiting the sites of the knee pillow companies weve shared on this page or doing a simple search for knee pillows to find more options. When buying a knee pillow online, check to see if the company offers free shipping and free returns.
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How To Treat It
Treating this knee pain is all about pain management and what you can do to reduce the stress on those joints. Losing weight is a helpful start. Besides being a key to overall good health, cutting excess pounds lessens the everyday stress on those knee joints and ligaments.
But there are plenty of other ways, too.
A lot of joint stress is caused by high-impact exercising, especially running on pavement. But there are ways to exercise that can keep you healthy and keep that load off your knee joints. Low-impact exercises like swimming, bicycling and elliptical are good because they exercise the knee joints but dont pound them, says Dr. Stearns.
Knee braces can also be a tool, he adds. There are special braces that work to keep pressure off of certain parts of the knee unloader braces that can sometimes help alleviate arthritis pain.
If youre considering over-the-counter painkillers to help ease the hurt, Dr. Stearns says its best to take naproxen or ibuprofen because they have anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease the swelling thats causing your knee pain.
Acetaminophen medications, like Tylenol, dont work as well because they mask the pain but do nothing about the source of the pain, he says.
He also recommends taking the dose after dinner as that allows you to have the maximum dose before you head to bed.
Cold versus heat
How to sleep comfortably
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