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How to beat back pain on your lunch break

Recently published in the Daily Express 1st March 2015

Article

Many of us are working longer and harder than ever before, but our hectic lifestyles may be having a counterproductive effect on our bodies.And research shows that more days of work are lost to neck, back and muscle pain than any other cause.To help break the back pain cycle, try these five quick and easy tips

1. You’ve got mailSmartphones mean that we’re never more than a glance away from our emails, and lunch breaks are no exception.

While this is great for keeping track of your workload, long periods of neck flexion when staring down at a phone or tablet screen can lead to a stiff and aching neck, as the human body isn’t designed to hold this position for long periods.

Try to keep lunch breaks an email free zone to give your hard working muscles and mind a rest.

2. Step to it

It may feel difficult to take time to get away from your desk, but a 10 minute stroll to the local shops could be a crucial step to keeping back pain at bay.Lack of movement can lead to weakening of the muscles which support the back and degeneration of joints.Walking is not only good for the back, but recent research has indicated that just 20 minutes of brisk walking each day can have widespread health benefits – potentially even increasing life expectancy.

3. Mind over matter

Prolonged stress can lead to exacerbations of pain due to the release of the hormone cortisoland increases in muscle tension.

To reduce the pressure, try taking 10 – 15 minutes each day to practice mindfulness or meditation in a quiet environment (perhaps the local park, a quiet coffee shop or staff area).

Mental stresses are often best dealt with by addressing state of mind, and periods of quiet reflection can help with this.

4. Take ten

A new study has suggested that a portable device called Kyrobak (www.kyrobak.co.uk) – which delivers a combination of continuous passive motion and oscillation therapy (OT) to the lower back – significantly reduced pain scores in sufferers of long term non-specific lower back pain.

These benefits were evident following only 10 minutes use 1-3 times per day for 3 weeks. The soothing, rocking motion helps to relieve pressure and loosen muscles, offering targeted relief wherever you are.

5. Eat well

Being overweight places additional strain on the lower back and poor nutritional choices can contribute to exacerbations of inflammation, so maintaining a healthy diet is key.

Skipping lunch is likely to have a detrimental effect on your stress and energy levels and can also leave you more likely to make unhealthier choices later in the day.

So to keep weight down it’s important to make time for a healthy, balanced meal at lunchtime

 
 
June 12, 2015

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