We're finally back after a long lockdown period, and we're seeing a lot of people with very similar pain issues in their neck, shoulders and backs.
Working from home definitely seems to be taking its toll on peoples bodies, so while we're very happy to help you out by releasing those sore, tight muscles, we also wanted to give a few of our top tips on how you can shake up your daily patterns to reduce your pain.
Take Regular Breaks
We can't emphasise this one enough!! The most common thing we're hearing these last few weeks since returning to the clinic is that people are working longer hours.
Even if you have the most perfect posture, staying in one position for too long can leave you feeling stiff, sore and fatigued.
Think about it this way - if we asked you to hold your coffee cup out in front of you at shoulder height, you could probably do that. If we asked you to hold it there for 6 hours without taking a break, your coffee cup would feel like it weighed a ton, your arm would probably start to shake or cramp, and you would end up trying to lock your elbow joint into position to stabilise your arm. Your muscles would be tired and sore. You might even have trouble allowing your arm to lower because you had been stuck in that position for so long, or find that trying to raise your arm again afterwards felt like you'd been to the gym for 10 hours.
Try to take a quick movement break at least once per hour. This could be as little as just standing up, stretching your arms above your head, rolling your shoulders or doing a little spinal twist. You could use this chance to drink some water, go to the toilet, make a cup of tea, or stand in the sun.
Trust us, your body will thank you for the movement and the chance to reposition.
Set Up Your Workstation
You're probably not the only one working from your home right now. We know a lot of people have to share their work from home space with partners and kids, and theres only so much space to go around.
As best you can, try to set up your workspace so that your equipment is at the right height. This means screens at eye level, mouse and keyboard positioned so your arms can be at 90 degrees, and your chair is at the height that allows you to have your feet resting comfortably.
We know this isn't possible for everyone. Some patients we've seen this last week or so have been telling us they have to work from a low coffee table, or at a high kitchen bench, or even working from bed. If this is your situation, please keep in mind that regular breaks are going to be even more important for you!
Stretch and Move!
There are plenty of easily available online stretching and movement classes that you can use to help guide you through some feel-good motions.
Our favourite is Erica Webb's online yoga and pilates studio, which offers a great variety of classes including what Erica calls "movement snacks" which are short 5-10 minute videos that you can do anywhere, any time! Memberships to Erica's studio are less than $10 a week, and include a selection of on-demand classes and live yoga classes.
Set Strong Work/Home Boundaries
The blurring of the line between work and home has been strong this last year! We're hearing from people that they are often logging in early or continuing to work late to try to get ahead of deadlines or hectic work weeks - and often these extra hours are not even paid hours of overtime!
A once in a while overtime session may be occasionally needed, but we encourage you to try to avoid the temptation of working longer hours on a regular basis.
Use Your Self Care Tools
Massage balls, foam rollers, magnesium creams, heat packs - all of these tools that we talk about in the clinic are really great ways that you can help reduce tightness and tension in your body between treatments with us.
If you're not entirely sure how to use them, ask us at your next appointment and we can show you the best way to get into your problem areas using tools you already have, and give you recommendations of new self care tools that are a great investment for your health! (We don't sell any of these products, but we can direct you to reputable stores or websites that you can purchase from)
Book a Treatment!
Now that you can access manual therapies again, book in with us! We'll help you make some quick improvements to tight aching muscles, and help you plan for reducing pain while you continue to work from home or once you get back to your office!
Meet Our Team
We have a team of great practitioners available 7 days a week at our Knoxfield clinic.