Lock-down : The Physical Impacts

We are all well aware of the impact that Covid-19 is having on health systems around the world and what this can do to an individuals health. However, I want to talk briefly about the type of physical problems people have been contacting me about as a result of lock-down and what you can do to help prevent these types of injuries.

Something you haven’t done before:

We all had time to do those things that we couldn’t before: Clean out the attic, paint the bedroom …. simple physical tasks once we put or minds to it! The problem with jobs like this is similar to any type of exercise or exertion if we haven’t prepared for it we leave ourselves open to injury. Most people wont run a 10k or do a triathlon without training because of the demands it puts on the body, while these are extreme examples the principal is the same. You are now asking your shoulders to operate above your head for a few hours (painting), or bend,twist and lift in a confined space (cleaning attic) if you have not done these things for a long time or done some preparation with exercise then you are going to hurt yourself.

Something you haven’t done for a while:

Ok, so the gym is out… five a side is cancelled & I can only travel within 5km. Where does that leave us? For most people the answer is running or cycling.”Sure I used to run 10km every couple of days and cycle up the Sally Gap” we think to ourselves.

Muscle can start wasting in the matter of a weeks if we take a break, slightly longer for conditioned athletes, so unfortunately what we used to do is a bad indicator of what we really can do.

Running: In the initial period it was back pain people were asking me about and then hip pain, now it is ankle & knee pain. These are all areas that absorb impact when we run and if we are not conditioned for it we are likely to experience one or more of these!

Cycling: This group reported more gluteal (bum) pain and upper back pain with less impact involved it has a lesser affect on weight bearing joints.

New work routines:

Many people are no longer going to the office and instead are now working from home. This brings a whole new set of challenges for the body.

  • No more commute: so we don’t have to sit in the car or on transport anymore which is good. For many however this means no more walking to or from the office which might be the only outdoor activity they see in a day.
  • Office Ergonomics: In the office environment we have good chairs and desks of appropriate height, this usually isn’t the case at home.
  • Stress: The advent of work from home has brought on increased stress for many people who need to look after kids during this period or have ended up working longer hours.

So what can you do to prevent injury in the new world?

Well thankfully your local Osteopath is now open again to help you deal with any injuries that you cannot work out for yourself but hopefully you wont let it get to that.

Prepare your body: If you are going to take up a new activity or return to an old one then make sure you are ready to do so. Slowly increase the amount of running or cycling with intermittent slow paces if necessary. Allow a day in recovery to see how the body feels after the fact as often problems will not manifest until a little later. Exercise and mobility drills at this time are essential to prevent injury occurrence.

Assess your working space: Try to have a dedicated working space that you do not need to constantly adjust and move is possible. If working from a laptop then buy a separate mouse and key board, try to ensure that the screen is up to head height. Taking breaks from the desk is essential (every 20/30 mins necessary)

Stretch and Mobilise: Check out the websites exercise page and pick a few mobility drills that you can do daily. These will help to keep you lose prevent injury and get you ready for whatever it needs to do!

contact us today

Positive Balance Osteopathy
55 Main Street
Co. Wicklow

Mon:  9 – 7pm
Tues:  9 – 7pm
Wed:  9 – 7pm
Thurs:  9 - 6pm
Fri:  9 - 5pm
Sat & Sun:  Closed

tony@positivebalance.ie or call us 085 872 6955