• Arthur Codsi, Osteopath, The Round Clinic

Rehab at Work


Working out is great - apart from the usual health benefits of general strengthening and weight loss – it also gives a sense of accomplishment and can work as a form of escapism.

The endorphin release is real and allows the body to relax and focus. Nothing new here, but some of us are eager to get back into exercising and forget all the precautions, which can lead to injuries a few weeks later.

The work place is not a sport injury friendly place and this is what will be covered in this article: How to deal with an injury in the office.

LOW BACK PAIN:

This is the number one most likely injury. Many people have weak back muscles due to prolonged sitting at work or home, and come exercise time, people go too hard or too fast.

Remember to lift with your legs, not with your back, and gradually strengthen your back muscles with low intensity exercises.

If injured, reassess your sitting position: knees should always be below your hips. This allows the spine to extend and makes you sit straighter while activating your core and postural muscles.

SHOULDER INJURY:

Your shoulder joints have a large range of motion that allows injuries due to overuse and/or poor posture and technique. Dislocating your shoulder or damaging your rotator cuff can be severely detrimental. Do not push through the pain - let your shoulder rest and strengthen your shoulders with wall push-ups, shoulder presses, and elastic tube resistance training.

In the office, move your keyboard/mouse closer to you. This will allow your shoulders to retract and take some of the tension off your pectoral muscles.

Here is an easy stretch for the pectoral muscles:

One foot forward to control the balance, arms 90 degrees, you then need to lean forward until you feel a stretch in your chest area. This may be held for 20 seconds, 2 sets, twice a day.

RUNNER'S KNEE:

Runner’s knee or Chondromalacia is an irritation of the cartilage underneath your kneecap that makes up about 40% of all running injuries. This can be prevented by strengthening your hip, gluts, and quad muscles, as well as shortening your stride. This injury can be very persistent if not treated properly. Most weightbearing exercises will also be painful which will most certainly affect your overall training.

Here is a fantastic stretch that you may do in between two meetings:

Place the leg you would like to stretch behind and the other leg at 90 degree forward. Using your hips, you will rotate them posteriorly in order to create a stretch at the front of the back leg.

Be careful not to kneel on your patella and ideally this exercise should be done on a soft surface, mat or carpet.

ACHILLES TENDINITIS:

Achilles Tendinitis is when our tendon tightens and becomes irritated. You can reduce your risk of this by avoiding a dramatic increase in training and building strength in your calve muscles. This tendon gets inflamed easily because of the lack of sheath, which is why you should be careful, and stretch every time you come back from an epic run:

Lift the toes up to be on the wall/step, keeping the heel on the floor and the knee straight. Shift of body weight forward until you feel a stretch at the back of your front leg. To stretch the Soleus (second calf muscle), you can bend the knee slightly.

All these stretches should be maintained for 20 seconds, twice. If any are painful, they need to be stopped immediately. It is important to perform them in a slow and controlled manner. Please refer to a specialist if any persistent pain is felt. This article is in no way aimed to cure ailment but merely a guide to improve your mobility and strength.

Stay Fit!


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