In an Associated Press story of October 8, 1999, comes a report of research conducted at the University of Queensland Medical School in Australia, that shows that the time honored practice of bed rest for illness may not be helpful.
The researchers examined all previous studies on the effectiveness of bed rest compared to patients who were up and moving around more quickly. The studies involved a total of 5,777 patients with a variety of 15 different health problems. The results showed that with many health conditions, as well as after several medical procedures such as heart catheterization, getting up quicker was more beneficial than bed rest.
Some of the health problems that benefited from moving around over bed rest included acute lower back pain, and increased blood pressure in pregnant women.
In the first week of October 1999 issue of the Lancet a British medical journal comes a story that may change what most people have believed is good home care for many ailments. The article suggests that prolonged bed rest may not help and may even be harmful for may ailments. The article was based on researched done in the University of Queensland Medical School, Australia. In this research 5,777 patients with 15 different ailments were studied. Their comments were, "Overall, there was no evidence that bed rest has any significant effect beneficial effect when used as a treatment or when used after surgery. It may actually delay recovery and even harm the patient." The study concluded that bed rest should no longer be used for ailments such as acute low back pain, hepatitis, or for recovery after a heart attack. The study also suggested that women are better off walking around during the early stages of labor as compared to hours of lying on their back.