A fractured pelvis is a rarity, that doesn’t happen to many people. However, when it happens, it can make one’s life terrible. The most critical aspects of one’s life that a broken pelvis can affect are sleeping and mobility. While the latter can be compromised to some extent, the former is such a necessity that cannot be simply ignored in the best interest of a patient. As the human body, especially broken bones, tend to heal while sleeping, it becomes an absolute necessity to get an adequate, peaceful, and good night’s sleep. Nonetheless, it cannot be achieved unless concrete steps are taken to alleviate pain and enable the patient to sleep with the correct posture, and with the right pillow and the right mattress.
In the article below, we will explain in detail how to sleep with a fractured pelvis. We will walk you through some of the things that can make your life much easier if you have a fractured pelvis.
However, before delving deep into “sleeping with a fractured pelvis” let’s first ponder upon what it is and how one can avoid it.
What exactly is classified as a broken pelvis?
In plain words, the fractured pelvis is a condition that arises when your hip bone breaks. Pelvic fractures most commonly occur in road accidents, or when somebody falls off a heightened place. A broken pelvis can be a result of sudden movement, strong enough to tear the hip bone. It must be taken into account that pelvic fractures are different from hip muscle injuries. In the case of a fractured pelvis, it is the pelvic bone that breaks, however in the case of muscle tear, it is the pelvic muscle that detaches from hip bone or tears apart in response to an extreme muscle stretch.
Is broken Pelvis a serious injury?
Pelvic fractures are not life-threatening and are considered minor to moderate injuries. Yet, the damage it can cause to the quality of life is unsurmountable. Although a pelvic fracture can be cured without much of a hassle, it should not be taken lightly. Most importantly, elderly patients with pelvic fractures must be extra careful with such injuries. However, in most cases, a pelvic fracture patient recovers with bed rest, anti-inflammatory medication, and by using crutches for a walk. Contrary to this, the pelvic fracture can worsen if adequate rest, especially sleep, is not maintained.
This brings us to the main question once again:
How to Sleep with a Fractured Pelvis?
Sleeping with a pelvic fracture can be cumbersome. Yet, it is one of the most critical elements of a speedy recovery. Nonetheless, there are a few things that you can do to maintain a safe and sound sleep for a healthy living and speedy recovery from a pelvic fracture.
Take Anti-inflammatory Medication:
According to research, a fractured pelvis can cause severe pain that can disturb your sleep and enhances your sensitivity toward the pain. It can be very painful and make it hard for you to sleep well at night. The lack of sleep will keep you restless and slows down the recovery process. In such a situation, ask your physician to prescribe you pain-relieving medicines. You can take Non Steroidal pain medication before sleeping, so you can fall asleep easily.
Some common NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen. Taking these medicines before bedtime will reduce the intensity of pain and decrease your suffering at night. Effectively managing your pain is essential to improve your sleep quality and speed up recovery.
There are other pain relief therapies for pelvic fracture, such as hypnosis, acupuncture, and aqua therapy. However, you should only undergo physical therapy after consulting with your physician.
Improving the quality of your sleep is crucial to your recovery and you can get it by taking good medication.
Sleep on your Back
If you sleep on your back, it would be the optimal position that keeps your back, spine, and pelvis aligned and promotes the healing process. Sleeping on your back with a pillow under the thighs increases blood flow to the pelvic area. As blood flow to the hip improves, it reduces the inflammation around the broken bone and clears the surrounding area of the broken bone debris. Similarly sleeping on your back also removes the blood clots present around your fractured pelvis.
Use specialized knee or wedge pillow
You should use a good quality knee or wedge pillow to make your sleep as comfortable as possible. These pillows will give your sufficient support and comfort while sleeping. You can easily get these pillows online. Read more about specialized pillows.
Buy a comfortable mattress with spine support
Sleeping on a good mattress will help you get quality sleep at night. People suffering from pelvis fractures or other types of chronic back pain should be using comfortable and soft mattresses that will keep their muscles relaxed. Try to use a mattress made of high-density foam to support your back.
Consider sleeping alone but share your room
Sharing your sleeping space can cause discomfort not just for you but for your partner as well. You can share your room, but the bed should be all yours. You might need to change your sleeping positions more often during the night because sleeping in the same position can put more pressure on your muscles. So, it would be better to sleep alone; otherwise, you might annoy the other person sleeping beside you.
Keep your Crutches Near your Bed
Patients with mild pelvic fractures can walk with the help of crutches. Keep your crutches near your bed, in case you have to use the toilet at night. Don’t try to walk without crutches, as long as your fracture is completely healed. Walking can put pressure on your pelvis and it may trigger pain.
Consider using adult diapers or a Bedpan
In most cases, people with pelvic fractures are on complete bed rest. They can’t stand, walk or even sit for a considerable time. Physicians recommend not to move because it can severely affect the fracture. Patients with critical pelvis fractures should use diapers or a bedpan, so they don’t have to get out of their bed to use the washroom.
Other Things That Can Help Sleeping if your pelvis is fractured
Keep Night Lamp On
For people who have minor fractures, mobility is not completely restricted. Such patients can use the washroom at night, although with much hassle. Keeping a dim night light would preclude the possibility of personal injury in the pitch-black night when one moves for using the washroom or for any other purpose.
Consider taking sleep medication
If your pelvis fracture is severe, you might not be able to sleep without having relaxing or narcotic pills. It is common to have sleepless nights if you have undergone surgery to fix the fracture. After surgery, taking adequate rest is all you need for a speedy recovery. Your doctor may recommend pain relievers.
Spread your legs while sleeping
Depending on your fracture area, you have to figure out the most comfortable sleeping position for you. Some people feel more relaxed sleeping on one side and some sleep spreading their legs apart. Spreading your legs while sleeping would increase your blood flow and it will keep your lower body more relaxed.
Build a support fortress around yourself using pillows.
The pelvic area fracture will make you spend maximum time in your bed. You can’t move easily and even slight movements can trigger the pain. You can build a support fortress of the pillow around yourself that would help you with movement and also prevent you from putting more pressure on painful areas.
Keep fluid intake at a minimum during the night
Limit your fluids intake at night. Having more fluids means you will be using the toilet more often that will keep you restless at night. Especially, if you get surgery for your pelvic fracture or any other broken bones, drinking more water can cause pulmonary aspiration.
Consider book reading or listen to the night sleep music
Experts suggest book reading helps one sleep fast. So, if you find it hard to sleep, invest your time in book reading. Good music can also improve your sleep by keeping your nerves calm. Listening to low-beat music makes it easier for you to fall asleep. So, consider keeping some good pieces of music in your playlist to get a good deep sleep at night.
Keep all your necessities within your arms’ reach
Increased mobility, if you have a severe or deep fracture, can cause wear and tear in your newly joined bones (after surgery) and even lead to bleeding. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep your mobility to the minimum. To ensure that, you must keep your nighttime necessities e.g. water, bedpan, crutches, etc. within your reach.
Develop a night routine to sleep on time
Having a sleep schedule will help you fall asleep and wake up more easily. Studies have shown that the timing of your sleep matters and the best time to sleep is during the night. Aligning your body’s internal clock with the environment is important to get a good and proper sleep at night.
Remember, sleep and rest are the keys to your speedy recovery and healing of your pelvic fracture. Try to use the techniques provided in this article to enhance your sleep quality. Your healing process will take some time and you have to be patient on this. Medication and physical therapy can also help you get a good sleep at night. Try to limit your naps during the day and stick to a sleep schedule.
Talk to your doctor about your sleeping difficulty and pain. He may help you relieve your pain by recommending some exercises or medication.