Lying (position)  

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Lying (also recumbency or prostration) is a type of human position in which the body is more or less horizontal and supported along its length by the surface underneath.

When in lying position, the body may assume a great variety of shapes and positions. The following are the basic recognized positions.

  • Supine: lying on the back with the face up.
  • Prone: lying (or laying) on the chest with the face down ("lying down", "laying down", or "going prone"). See also "Prostration".

Lying on either side, with the body straight or bent/curled forward or backward. The fetal position is lying or sitting curled, with limbs close to the torso and the head close to the knees.

Lying is the most common position while being immobilized, e.g. in bedrest while sleeping or being struck by injury or disease.

As a treatment

Bedrest as a medical treatment refers to staying in bed day and night as a treatment for an illness or medical condition, especially when prescribed or chosen rather than resulting from severe prostration or imminent death. Even though most patients in hospitals spend most of their time in the hospital beds, bedrest more often refers to an extended period of recumbence at home.

Long-term risks

Prolonged bedrest carries some medical risks such as demineralization of the bones and atrophy of the muscles, as well as economic and social costs, and is much less commonly prescribed today. Preterm labor with threatened miscarriage remains one of the few conditions for which bedrest remains a standard treatment.

It is also a major cause of thrombosis.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Lying (position)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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