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Lockdown and body pain

All that web meetings and K-drama marathons from your laptop can trigger movement-related pain, according to experts. 

In the webicon “Pain, Pain Go Away”, the specialists from Cardinal Santos Medical Center’s (CSMC) Rehabilitation Department discussed several ways to alleviate movement-related pain common in the current work-from-home arrangement.

According to Dr. Joanna Macrohon, the pain can range from simple muscle aches to stabbing sensation that radiates down the arm or leg. It may be triggered by muscle strain, ruptured disk, arthritis, or osteoporosis.

Back pain is common among people aged 30 years old and above.
Back pain is common among people aged 30 years old and above. 
Back pain

There are several factors that increase a person’s chances of developing back pain. It is common among people aged 30 years old and above mainly because aging causes wear and tear of the joints and muscles. Other factors are lack of exercise, excess body weight, improper lifting, depression and anxiety, and smoking. 

Depression and anxiety can lead to back pain because people tend to slouch when they are stressed. “Slouching strains the muscles which leads to pain,” said Dr. Macrohon. As for smokers, all the huffing and puffing damages the disk, which may protrude and cause pain.

To avoid back pain while in front of a computer monitor, Dr. Macrohon recommended positioning it within eye level “so you need not slouch or strain your neck muscles”. She also emphasized the importance of taking breaks in between viewing or web meetings.  

Life in lockdown may be causing individuals movement-related pain.
Life in lockdown may be causing individuals movement-related pain. 
Knee pain

The lockdown may have turned a lot of people into fitness buffs, but overexercising is not good for the knee. The number one cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis (OA) or degeneration of the joint. It can be hereditary, the chance of getting it increases when one reaches the age of 45. 

Early signs include an exceptionally warm feeling on the knee, visible deformity, difficulty in bending or squatting or climbing stairs, and cracking sound when getting up. 

Obesity is another major cause of OA. Dr. Bee Giok Tan-Sales explained, “For every pound gained, the impact on the knee increases two to three times when walking and three to five times when running.” 

Dr. Sales also cautioned those who often wear high heels, “Stiletto is the killer, it can lead to knee pain,” she said. If wearing heels is necessary, the safer alternative are shoes with thick heels, “at least one and a half inch,” she said. 

Overexercising can damage joints and increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
Overexercising can damage joints and increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
No pain

To keep our backs healthy and strong, Dr. Macrohon suggested low-impact exercises like brisk walking, swimming, yoga, Pilates, and tai-chi.  

Flexibility exercises like stretching for the quadriceps and hamstrings, Dr. Sales said, would help the knee. She also shared studies showing how collagen has been very helpful to patients with early arthritis. “Ultrasound tests show that collagen has some positive effect in preserving and protecting the cartilage. The thinning out has slowed down.”

Like any physical disorder, early detection is key. If pain persists after seven days of medication and home remedies, then it is time to see a specialist. 

Topics: Pain , Pain Go Away , Cardinal Santos Medical Center , CSMC Rehabilitation Department , movement-related pain , work-from-home
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