Exercise can help reduce the risk of pressure ulcers in bedridden patients.

Pressure sores are more common in bedridden patients and can lead to extreme discomfort. These ulcers may also cause infections like meningitis, cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis, according to HealthLink BC. In addition to cleaning the skin daily and eating a healthy diet, exercise is important in preventing pressure sores. Physical activity increases blood flow to the skin, which can keep bed sores from developing. While you won’t be able to do anything too strenuous, there are several exercises you can do in your bed.

Palm stretch

The palm stretch is one of the simplest exercises you can do in bed and can build your tolerance to mobility, according to HealthResource4U. Begin by bringing your hand toward your body. With an open palm, extend your fingers for a few seconds. Then, touch your thumb with each finger. Repeat this exercise on the other hand. Try doing this exercise a couple times on each hand every day.

Ankle plantarflexion-dorsiflexion exercise

This exercise can help maintain range of motion and increase blood circulation in your ankles, according to Livestrong.com. As you are lying on your back, ask your caregiver to hold one ankle and heel and bend the foot forward for several seconds. Then, instruct your caretaker to push your foot upward.

Arm lift

An arm lift is an effective strength training exercise and can be performed on your own or with the help of a caregiver. To perform this exercise, just lift your arm as high as you can and hold it there for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other arm. If you are unable to hold your arm up for that long, place your upper arm on the bed and lift your elbow until it reaches a 90-degree angle.

Leg lift

If you are strong enough, try performing leg lifts at least a couple times a day. Slowly bring your leg up to your hip joint and hold it there for 10 to 20 seconds. Then, carefully bring the leg down. Do the same exercise on your opposite leg.

Performing these exercises a few times a day can help reduce the risk of developing pressure sores; however, before starting this type of activity discuss with your physician.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.