Sunday, 22 January 2012

It's only a little niggle...

In the many years of working as a rehabilitation consultant in worker's compensation, I can't begin to tell you how many times injured workers' have told me how their injury occurred, explaining that 'it was only a niggling discomfort, I thought it would just go away'.

Lower back pain, upper back pain, neck pain, wrist pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain.. the list goes on and on. Left to get better on their own, these niggling discomforts can sometimes develop into full-blown injuries that can take months and even years to recover!

Besides getting an all-important workstation assessment to ensure that how you sit and work isn't contributing to the discomfort, other things that can help out in these early stages can include:

  • Massages from a qualified remedial massage therapist or physiotherapist
  • A few physiotherapy sessions (and then actually doing the stretches and exercises they prescribe)
  • Some anti-inflammatory medication (talk to your doctor or pharmacist first)
  • Light exercise and movement (we sit down for way too long each day)

Also, it's worth looking at the things you handle everyday - For example, some handbags are really heavy! Do you really need a full 1L water bottle, a diary, a book, a make up bag, spare shoes etc. with you at all times? See what things you can leave at work or home, what you can downsize (i.e. using a small bottle and refilling it as needed), or other ways you can carry things to and from work (backpacks and trolley bags are a couple of options).

The most important message out of this is that it's so much better to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to aches and pains that just don't go away. Act before they become more than just a bit of pain in the neck!
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