Guest Blog by Paul Rastrick, MCSP, of Paul Rastrick Physiotherapy
Working from home can be extremely worthwhile and productive in many ways but it can come at a medical cost!
Since Covid there has obviously been a significant increase in people working from home. And that has brought an increase in people experiencing a wide range of medical issues.
Most notable are:
- Low back pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Knee pain
- Increased body weight
Let’s have a look at these in more detail.
Low back pain
Working from home tends to find us sitting for longer periods in front of our computer. In addition, and probably most importantly, we sit for more prolonged periods at a time without changing position or moving around regularly.
This unfortunately can be the main causative factor of people experiencing Low Back Pain.
Commonly, our discs in our lower back are ‘over-loaded’ during prolonged sitting, which can lead to them potentially bulging, which in turn can lead to nerve irritation and increased muscle tension, which then ultimately leads to pain.
So ideally, we should be looking to have an upright sitting posture which allows optimal distribution of load throughout our spine.
Taking small, regular breaks from our desk/dining room table as often as we can whilst walking around and doing some general mobility/stretching exercises every 30 mins is a good start.
Neck and shoulder pain
For those who sit for prolonged periods in front of a computer, especially a laptop neck and shoulder pain can present itself.
It is widely seen in many people that our shoulders are in a very ‘rounded’ position whilst sitting and, in conjunction with a ‘protruded’ (sticking forward) neck position, can ultimately lead to neck and shoulder pain.
Multiple structures can be affected (joints/nerves/muscles) so it’s vitally important we try and minimise/prevent this from happening.
A good start is posture position.
Upright torso, shoulders in line with our hips, neck in line with our shoulders is an optimal sitting posture, so that we try and establish symmetry throughout our body.
And, not forgetting, to get up and move around on a regular basis.
Sitting for long periods of time can be extremely detrimental, in particular, to those who have long standing knee joint issues; especially those who have osteoarthritis (OA).
It is commonly known that moving our joints plays a key role in management of OA, as does muscle strengthening.
So let’s avoid being stuck in front of a screen for hours, get moving by going for short regular walks or bike rides, and try and do some simple exercises to strengthen up our thigh muscles.
Increased body weight
There are many of us that are struggling to lose those extra pounds we put on during those Covid years. And for those who continue to work from home, it’s even more difficult to shift for a variety of reasons.
Whether we like it or not, our body weight plays a fundamental role on our all-round general health.
There are a plethora of exercise/diet/weight-loss plans out there. Hopefully you’ve found the right one for you!
You may be asking “So what weight should I be?” Using the body mass index (BMI) calculator to find out your healthy weight range is a good way to start. This will enable you to keep tabs on your weight and give you the incentive to stay in the healthy body weight range.
The best advice of all……AVOID/MINIMISE the AGGRAVATING factors that may be causing you to experience any of the medical issues listed above.
Based in Knowle, Paul is a chartered physiotherapist with over 30 years’ experience working within Premier League football. He specialises in the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of all types of injury.
Consultations are thorough and bespoke, with focus on listening to the patients’ problems, which in turn leads to optimal management strategies of treatment and rehabilitation.
For more information on Paul Rastrick and his physiotherapy services please visit www.brainbodyfitnessandrehab.co.uk