What are they?

The body has several ways of notifying us if it is about to be injured. Your ability to feel a tingling sensation can let you know if a body part is not getting enough oxygen and tells you it is time to move or reposition to prevent skin damage. This allows the blood to flow to areas that may be under pressure, such as when you are sitting or lying for too long in one position. Persons with limited ability to feel this tingling, such as those with spinal cord injuries or diseases or individuals on medications that affect the nervous system, are at risk for pressure related injuries to the skin.

How can they be prevented?

Prevention of pressure related injuries is paramount. If you know you have diminished sensation you need to be aware of positioning and use pressure relieving strategies to prevent skin breakdown.

What is the usual treatment?

Health-care professionals will support the use of pressure-reduction strategies and devices (such as special cushions or mattresses) to reduce the risk of developing a pressure injury. The wound will also need to be addressed and managed with guidance from a health-care professional.

When should one seek professional help?

Any time there is an inability to control the cause of the injury or an increase in pain, odour, swelling, or wound size a health-care professional should be consulted.