Navigating the world with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, along with other comorbidities, can often seem nearly impossible. Here are a few hacks that our clients use on a daily basis that may be helpful for you!
Do you have trouble sleeping due to a painful neck? If you’ve exhausted the plethora of pillow options, try using a small and soft baby blanket. Fold the blanket in half or into thirds and form a roll. Place it under your neck for gentle support that will hopefully help to relive pain and stress put on your neck. (Note: this method does not provide stability in cases of cranio- cervical instability and is not a replacement for a neck brace.)
WATER BOTTLE ICE PACK
Whether you are at home or traveling, this DIY ice pack is perfect for neck pain. All you need is a half-full plastic water bottle (the disposable kind) and a freezer. When you freeze the bottle, it will likely compress. The shape of the bottle will fit under the nape of your neck and be able to provide cold therapy relief.
If you have problems with dysautonomia and volume, you are no stranger to electrolytes. Carrying around a heavy Gatorade or Propel is not always optimal especially when you have trouble carrying heavy bags. Packets such as Propel Power Packets or Pedialyte Packets are great, too! You can throw a few packets into your purse and always have them on hand. Many fast food restaurants and coffee shops will give you a cup of tap water for free - take advantage of this and add in your electrolytes. Especially during travel and day trips when you tend to overexert yourself, this can be especially helpful and cost efficient!
APPLE SAUCE OR BABY FOOD
Some of us have difficulties swallowing pills. A slurp or spoonful of apple sauce, baby food, or other thick liquid can aid in pushing the pills down your throat. If you take multiple pills a day or do not want to waste an entire container of your chosen liquid remedy, find a variety with a reseal-able container. Many applesauce brands come in a pouch with a screw top – these are great for on-the-go because you do not need a spoon!
SOY SAUCE PACKETS (SODIUM TO-GO)
Sounds crazy, right? Soy sauce contains sodium (salt), which, in some cases, can aid symptoms of POTS, Dysautonomia, Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis, and other conditions that make us sodium-sensitive. When you start to feel dehydrated or experience other symptoms from low sodium, drink the soy sauce packet for a quick dose of salt. Next time you find yourself at a Chinese restaurant, stash a few packets of soy sauce into your bag so that next time you begin to experience symptoms, you have salt easily on hand... just in case.
Come back next week for more hacks including how to instantly get rid of nausea, prevent overheating, and how a soccer ball can help your health. If you’re ready to take the next step in your EDS health and see a certified Physical Therapist who understands what you’re going through, fill out this form or give us a call – (561) 366-2435. We would love to discuss how Physical Therapy can help you live your life to the fullest.