A foot elevation pillow can be an important (and all-natural) way to get better rest, improve your health, and feel better. Read below for two very important ways that this tool can help you!
Treats joint and muscular conditions
The average person spends 7-8 hours sleeping at night. This equates to around 1/3 of a lifetime. We NEED sleep, there is no question about it. If we want to function at our best, our body requires rest, recovery, and healing.
Because we spend so much time resting, it is of the utmost importance to set ourselves up for success while we sleep. Investing in a supportive mattress and pillow can pay dividends for our health.
Another simple and effective tool we can use is a foot elevation wedge pillow. When we lie flat on our back or on our side, the natural curves of our hips and legs cause pressure points on our muscles and joints. This is due to gravity’s pull on our body. We want to avoid sleep positions that cause these points of pressure build up on our body.
A foot elevation pillow is a solution to this problem. Elevating your feet puts your joints and muscles in more of a “neutral” position. When our joints and muscles are in a “middle” or “neutral” position (not compressed and not stretched), they can relax and heal while we sleep. Sleeping in a neutral position with an elevation pillow for feet can decrease hip and leg stiffness in the morning and help you feel more refreshed.
A foot elevation pillow decrease swelling and improves circulation
Gravity can be both helpful and detrimental to the body when it comes to circulation. When in sitting and standing positions (especially for people with cardiovascular disease, vascular disease, or who are pregnant), it is harder for the body to send blood flow back to the heart for re-circulation.
When you stand or sit, gravity pulls fluid down towards your feet. Your circulatory system has to then pump the blood and fluid from your feet AGAINST gravity back up to your heart. This is why leg and ankle swelling is common after standing or sitting for prolonged periods.
This is where a foot elevation wedge pillow can come in very handy. Your feet should be elevated during periods of the day to reverse the effects of gravity on your cardiovascular system. To increase the effects of an elevation pillow, exercises like ankle pumps can be completed while on the wedge. This gets the leg muscles involved which helps with fluid return back to the heart. A foot elevation wedge pillow can also be used at night so that while sleeping, the heart can have a break by letting gravity do the work of returning blood back to the heart.
If you have any orthopedic conditions or circulation deficits, using a foot elevation pillow is a vital tool for your well being. If you are using a wedge pillow for a specific medical condition, always consult with your physician before using a wedge pillow to ensure that it is compliant with your specific condition and/or any medications you may be taking.
There is no time like today to start making changes that your body will love! Try an elevation pillow for feet and feel the difference in your legs and feet!
-Bryan Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy