El Paso Functional Medicine
I hope you have enjoyed our blog posts on various health, nutritional and injury related topics. Please don't hesitate in calling us or myself if you have questions when the need to seek care arises. Call the office or myself. Office 915-850-0900 - Cell 915-540-8444 Great Regards. Dr. J

Achieving Sleeping Mobility: A Physical Therapist’s Guide


Individuals in post-surgery recovery or dealing with illness or an injury can experience weakened muscles and endurance that can cause temporary loss of sleeping mobility and inability to move around normally because of weakness, decreased range of motion, or pain. Can they benefit from physical therapy to help get back to normal functional mobility?

Achieving Sleeping Mobility: A Physical Therapist's Guide

Sleeping Mobility

For individuals who are hospitalized or homebound from injury, illness, or surgical recovery, a physical therapist will assess various areas of functional mobility. These include transfers – from sitting to standing positions, walking, and sleeping mobility. Sleeping mobility is the ability to perform specific motions while in bed. A therapist can assess sleeping or bed mobility and recommend strategies and exercises to improve movements. (O’Sullivan, S. B., Schmitz, T. J. 2016) A therapist may have the individual use specific devices, like an over-the-bed trapeze or a sliding board, to help move around.

Bed and Sleeping Mobility

When a physical therapist checks mobility, they will assess various motions that include: (O’Sullivan, S. B., Schmitz, T. J. 2016)

  • Moving from sitting to lying down.
  • Moving from lying down to sitting up.
  • Rolling over.
  • Scooting or sliding up or down.
  • Scooting or sliding sideways.
  • Twisting.
  • Reaching.
  • Raising the hips.

All of these movements require strength in different muscle groups. By checking out individual motions in sleeping mobility, a therapist can work out specific muscle groups that may be weak and require targeted exercises and stretches to restore mobility to normal. (O’Sullivan, S. B., Schmitz, T. J. 2016) Individuals visiting a therapist in an outpatient clinic or rehabilitation area may have the individual work on sleeping mobility on a treatment table. The same motions on the treatment table can be done in the bed.


The body is meant to move.

For individuals who cannot move comfortably on their bed, the body may suffer disuse atrophy or the wasting away of muscular strength, which can lead to increased difficulties. Not being able to move can also lead to pressure ulcers, especially for individuals who are severely deconditioned and/or remain in one position for a long period. Skin health may start to break down, leading to painful wounds that require specialized care. Being able to move around in bed can help prevent pressure ulcers. (Surajit Bhattacharya, R. K. Mishra. 2015)


A physical therapist can prescribe specific exercises to strengthen muscle groups and improve sleeping mobility.  The muscles include:

  • Shoulder and rotator cuff muscles.
  • Triceps and biceps in the arms.
  • Gluteus muscles of the hips.
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Calf muscles

The shoulders, arms, hips, and legs work together when moving the body around the bed.

Various Exercises

To improve bed movement, physical therapy exercises can include:

  • Upper extremity exercises
  • Lower trunk rotation
  • Glute exercises
  • Bridges
  • Leg raises
  • Short arc quads
  • Ankle pumps

Physical therapists are trained to assess these motions and functions and prescribe treatments to improve body movement. (O’Sullivan, S. B., Schmitz, T. J. 2016) Maintaining appropriate physical fitness can help the body stay active and mobile. Performing mobility exercises prescribed by a physical therapist can keep the right muscle groups working properly, and working with a physical therapist can ensure the exercises are correct for the condition and are performed properly.

Optimizing Your Wellness


O’Sullivan, S. B., Schmitz, T. J. (2016). Improving Functional Outcomes in Physical Rehabilitation. United States: F.A. Davis Company.

Bhattacharya, S., & Mishra, R. K. (2015). Pressure ulcers: Current understanding and newer modalities of treatment. Indian journal of plastic surgery : official publication of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of India, 48(1), 4–16. doi.org/10.4103/0970-0358.155260

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Achieving Sleeping Mobility: A Physical Therapist's Guide" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.


Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
License Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*
Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card