For the past few months, whilst we’ve been dealing with the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown, many of us have been thinking of new and creative ways to focus our time and energy. I have heard all sorts of new goals, take-ups and achievements. Some examples of which include picking up a new instrument, learning a new language or improving their cooking skills. However, the most common I have come across so far, especially in this line of work, is exercise. This can be very satisfying and enjoyable, however injury can commonly result when not carried out properly, or when introduced too quickly.
With gyms closed, social distancing in place and Netflix and binge eating more tempting than ever before, keeping fit and healthy has never been more challenging. As a result, many people have had to be innovative with how they stay active, which has meant taking on new forms of exercise that they may not be used to. This of course is all positive and we frequently encourage people to take up new exercise, however when it is introduced too quickly, this can result in musculoskeletal pain and injury. Usually this is the result of simple overload. Whether muscle, joint or tendon, various structures can become the source of repetitive strain and overload, thus resulting in pain. This isn’t only true of exercise, this would also apply to those taking on more gardening and DIY, again very popular since the start of lockdown.
What we would encourage is gradually introducing new forms of exercise. If you’re not a runner, or haven’t been for a run for years, suddenly taking on 5 miles could possibly lead to some musculoskeletal issues, whether that be Achilles, knee or lower back pain. Starting with 3k (2 miles) at a steady pace, then building up from there would be more sensible. Likewise with gardening, hedge cutting at overhead height is likely to put excess strain on the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder. It would be recommended that anything repetitive is only performed for 20 mins before having a five minute break. This would allow those structures to momentarily rest and ‘recharge’ to prepare for the activity again. Without these periods of rest, repetitive overload can occur, whereby the structures can no longer cope with the demand, this can result inflammation and/or pain.
Should you be suffering from a musculoskeletal injury or ailment, and you seek advice from the internet, ensure that the website you look at is reputable. Examples of which are;
- Versus Arthritis (this covers various Musculoskeletal conditions and not just arthritic problems)
- Shoulder Doc
- BESS (British Elbow and Shoulder Society).
The NHS website would also be a well evidenced source of information.
Should you still have any queries, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 07890655347 / 02920217498.