At my Woking massage practice, I specialise in remedial therapies and one of the most common complaints I encounter in my working life is clients suffering from chronic pain as a result of their day to day lives at work.
It is important to consider how you look after yourself during the day at work. If you work at a desk, do you find yourself slumped over your keyboard with your shoulders rolled forwards, or with your chin resting in your hands? Do you sit with both feet flat on the floor, or do you cross your legs? Chances are, that if are suffering any pain in your upper body, then your workstation may not be set up correctly and more importantly, you are not sitting at it properly. If you are not sitting in an upright position with your back supported properly, with both feet flat on the floor, then you risk the chance of low back pain. If you are slumped forwards, this will be putting strain on your upper back and over-stretching the muscles which can be a cause of neck and shoulder pain, and which can lead to kyphosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine.
Perhaps you don’t work in an office at all, and are a gardener, a floor fitter or a window cleaner. With these types of occupations you are instantly at a disadvantage, as it is often due to laziness and bad habits that cause problems when sitting at a desk, but think about the potential low back problems that can arise from laying floors all day, or weeding gardens. And what about neck and shoulder pain that could arise from reaching up high to clean windows. Jobs which involve repetitive actions can cause muscles to get overworked leading to chronic pain or muscle strains.
However, don’t despair. There are things you can do to help ease the pain from occupational injury and make the daily grind less of a strain!
If you work in an office, then speak to the health and safety manager and get a workstation assessment. They will be able to check your whole workstation, including the chair, height of your monitor, how you are sitting, and should be able to give advice on how to change your sitting position if they think it needs altering. Take breaks from your desk, and walk around frequently during the day.
If you work in a manual job then workstation assessments are of course not really an option, but depending on the type of pain you have, you might want to consider speaking to a personal trainer who could recommend exercises and stretches for those muscles groups most affected by your job. This will strengthen the muscles and reduce chances of muscle strain.
And then there’s the painkiller! Have you taken paracetamol to relieve low back pain or neck pain? The problem with painkillers is that they only target the symptom but don’t actually treat the cause of the pain. Massage therapy can be extremely effective in addressing pain associated with common occupational injury. In my massage practice I work with clients suffering with occupational injury on a daily basis. I use a combination of advanced massage techniques including Trigger Point Therapy in my treatments. Locating the primary trigger points means locating the source of the pain, and by targeting these, the pain can be greatly reduced, and in some cases can disappear completely. With careful management it is quite possible to continue life pain free, so work becomes less of a pain in the backside!
If you have an injury or condition which is affecting your quality of life, and you want to find out how massage can benefit you, please contact me on 07743 897874 or via the enquiry form.