Quick fixes for everyday aches and pains

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Even if you are generally healthy, a lot of people experience unavoidable aches and pains that they don’t know how to get rid of. Sitting down in one place or too much stress are the main causes of these aches. But there are some simple quick ways to help alleviate the pain!

Lower back pain

Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints. Considering the amount of time most adults spend sitting in their workplace or at home, this will undoubtedly damage your back and cause pain in your joints. At your desk, you can practice pelvic tilts, which activate your lower back and spine. The trick to doing this exercise properly is to think of your pelvis as a bowl that’s filled with water. Try to spill the bowl forward and back. This movement can relieve stress on the lower back after sitting in the same place for so long. Your lower back should arch on the forward movement and flatten out in the backward phase. Aim to perform this every 30 minutes for optimal results.

Hip pain

Nothing is worse for your hips than sitting at a computer for hours. Unfortunately for a lot of people this is something that’s unavoidable. In a seated position, the angle between your thigh and abdomen is closed. The trick to combatting pain in this area is by moving your body in the opposite direction. Stand up and bring your heel up toward your butt and grab onto your foot to stretch the quadriceps (quad) muscle. Introduce range of motion by moving your knee forward and back, which will activate the gluteus (glute) muscles and stretch the hip flexor. Repeat on the other side.

Shoulder stiffness

If you’re a high stress person or in  a high stress environment, this can cause tightness in your upper back, neck and shoulders, changing your breathing patterns can open up these areas , as shallow breathing is a symptom of stress. Taking deep breaths from the diaphragm instead of your upper body (which is what causes stiffness) causes your muscles to relax and expand. You should be able to feel your stomach move out as you breathe in and fall as you breathe out.

Neck strain

It is incredibly common for most computer users to learn forward and bend to look at their screen. This is in order to get closer to the screen but this causes neck AND eye strain after long periods of time.

This posture will overload and strain the muscles in the back of the neck.

Pull your head back toward the centre of your body and sit with your head centred over your shoulders, and this will prevent further neck pain. Doing this once every few hours can help you feel better at work.

Eyestrain

This type of pain is triggered by spending prolonged periods of time in front of a screen; and is combined with a bunch of other symptoms and pains such as headaches, dry eye and neck pain.

Although you may get lost in work, preventing this is essential for your long term health. A good rule of thumb is the 20-20-20 rule- taking a 20 second break to look at an object far away(at least 20 metres), every 20 minutes. If it’s tough to implement, set a timer, a calendar reminder, or use an app (such as BreakTimer or Stand Up!) to remind you to regularly stop.

Headaches

Headaches can have many causes but a common reason for the pain actually stems from neck pain. Whatever the cause is, using massage balls at the back of the head can decrease tensions monumentally and help you feel much more refreshed.

Menstrual cramps

Period pain is familiar for many women. But there is not much help for women in the workplace having to deal with cramps or other types of period pain.

Certain yoga exercises combined with breathing have been proven to alleviate the pain of cramps. Doing yoga poses such as Cat Cow, Child’s pose and Downward dog have all been found to be useful.

By Ruelle Sittampalam