No, that is not a typo. “Tummy time” may frequently be used to define the importance of the prone position for babies, but it’s also important for people of all ages, especially individuals with limb loss! The new buzz quote “sitting is the new smoking” is important on many levels. In this case, prolonged sitting while one heals from a limb loss procedure, or as someone copes with decreased cardiopulmonary endurance, can shorten the hip flexors, hip external rotators, and knee flexors creating contractures that will decrease gait symmetry. One EASY way to avoid these concerns? Just lay on your tummy!
Teach individuals with limb loss to create some time in their day to get out of the chair/bed and lay on their stomach. Bonus points if you can lay on your stomach, propped up on your elbows. Even more points for spending some time on your stomach with arms extended! Try to explain that they should practice this position when it is convenient for them. For example, tell teenagers to Snapchat while on their tummies. Ask parents to play with their children on the floor in this position. Tell students to study on the floor, and inform adults that they can also lay in bed in this position to call asleep! Build it into their day so that it becomes a routine and is practiced daily.
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