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Winnipeg, have you heard? Sitting is bad for you…solutions by Physiotherapy Winnipeg, yourPhysio.com

Winnipeg, by now you know you probably know that sitting down all day is terrible for you. As computer hardware and software accelerate the ‘web 3.0’, we can do more than ever before from a sitting position. Ergonomics is no longer a foreign word, and our ‘core’ exercises need to be performed everyday!

Who needs scientists to tell you that sitting for even one hour causes the production of fat-burning enzymes to decline a whopping 90%, or that more than four hours of desk time each day raises your risk of a heart attack by more than 100%?

You can feel exactly how crappy sitting all day makes you feel at the end of each workday; though you may be shocked to learn that being a regular gym-goer doesn’t protect you from the harmful effects of all that sitting. Standing up more is scientifically proven to have huge health benefits, but in our digital world it’s not as simple as it sounds. Here’s how to make the switch to an upright workday.

Try the latest DIY option, I have had so many patients describe their attempts at raising their work surface by box, crate, home-made devices, etc. I’m sure you could find the latest ‘how-to-video’ on YouTube to get an idea as to how to produce something for your workstation. Ergonomic clients of yourPhysio.com have purchased electronic and hydraulic ‘sit-stand’ workstations to allow their employees the postural variety that may be necessary for back pain, hip strains or knee sprains. These rehabs require movement throughout the day, and consistent changes in posture is a great place to start.

Invest in an ‘anti-fatigue’ mat, change your shoes every 6-8 months or try an over-the-counter orthotic to replace those worn insoles. You may require a doctor’s note to have orthotics covered by your insurance plan, but it is an employment benefit; so benefit!

Tweak your ergonomics, hire an ergonomic consultant for an hour and learn the proper way, not only how to sit, but how to perform your job so that it will not cause pain. Ask questions about posture, exercise and equipment available to make any task easier and less painful.

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Active Release, Myofascial Release, Trigger Point release therapies for back pain in Winnipeg by Physiotherapy Winnipeg

You’re back is Achy, You’re neck may be Sore, and You Have No Idea Why…It feels like muscle pain, but unlike a tight hamstring, hip flexor or shoulder that makes you yelp when you stand up, your ache isn’t triggered by a particular movement, and you can feel it in different places at various times. The culprit could be your fascia, that relative “sheet” of tissue, made up of densely packed protein fibers, weaves throughout the entire body, and it binds and supports your muscles, bones and even your organs.

You know how your muscles feel cramped and stiff when you wake up in the morning? After a night’s sleep (or another long period of inactivity, like a car trip or plane ride), the parts of your fascia that wrap around and through your muscle fibers, which are normally stretchy and flexible, can stick together like previously chewed bubble gum. Stretching like a well rested cat in yoga, is a great way to release those sticky fibers at home.

Just today, I’ve recommended a client to work out those overused sore spots with a foam roller. You’ve probably seen people at the gym using these things, which look like pool noodles, to stretch their back, hamstrings and the notoriously tight IT band on the outside of the hips. To start, take an old pillow from home, fold it in half length wise and duct tape it into a hardened roll. It may not provide the stiff surface of a good foam roll, but you can begin slowly, and graduate to harder surfaces later. Sit or lie upon the roll, and when you get to a sore spot that feels like a bruise, pause for 15 to 20 seconds. The discomfort should melt away as the fascia softens and the muscles release. If you feel intense pain that doesn’t dissipate, stop and consider making an appointment with a physical therapist.

Don’t Let the Tissues Get “Crunchy”

If you’ve ever had a shoulder rub and heard something that sounded like crinkling plastic under your skin, that wasn’t your imagination—it was probably your parched, stiffened fascia. The collagen, protein fibers that make up fascia need to stay supple to work properly, and to slide over and under muscles and other inner-body surfaces. One way to keep the fascia hydrated is obvious: drink lots of fluids, especially water. I have had chronic back pain clients change their coffee to water on a 8x per day basis to gain relief from their fascial pain. Another easy (but easily forgettable) way is to make sure we stand up, stretch and flex regularly throughout the day to keep the fascia from locking up. Those pressure points are warning you for a reason!

If you need some foam roll instruction or relative treatment with myofascial release techniques, don’t hesitate to contact me.

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Winnipeg weather can be dangerous too; ice, falls, car accidents, back pain…get Physiotherapy

As the remnants of Sandy linger out East, and people return to their lives, we give thanks for living in the middle, the relative center, on the Prairies. But as our fore-Fathers discovered, Winnipeg weather can be dangerous too; just today another car accident where the conditions and poor preparation cause injury.

Falls can diminish your ability to lead an active and independent life. About one third of people over the age of 65 and almost half of people over the age of 80 will fall at least once this year. There usually are several reasons for a fall. We can help you reduce your risk of falling, and better your performance through Universal design. We can assess your biomechanics at home, on the job or even during sport; like golf, running and curling.

Balance, together with ‘core’ training can enhance your ability to perform, avoid injury, especially like those from falls.

Aging is a natural process that encompasses biological changes that tend to be associated with the development of joint pain or that may limit the ability to work with joint pain.  In addition to arthritic joint degeneration, aging is associated with loss of muscle mass and muscle function.  Functional loss is influenced by changes at the cellular and molecular physiology level.  These changes may reduce joint stability and impair normal joint motion that affect the ability to tolerate specific work postures and repetitive motion.  With a loss in muscle strength, the same level of physical effort places a greater demand on an individual relative to her/his capabilities.

The relationship between aging and joint pain in the workplace is complex and influenced by a number of factors.  For example, national surveys of workers across a wide variety of occupations indicate that not all older workers (50 years and older) report a greater risk of joint pain.  Older workers at greatest risk tend to be in jobs that have high physical demands.  And once an injury has occurred, it may take longer for an older worker to return to work.  In spite of these factors, studies indicate that older workers suffer no decrease in overall job performance.

Osteoarthritis, and the pain associated with degenerative disc disease in the lower back can be alleviated with laser therapy. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact your Physio.

You can perform at your best when prepared
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your Ergonomics, line of sight and that nagging neck-shoulder-upper back pain, by Physiotherapy Winnipeg

Whether it be at work, rest or play; a candy bar cannot make that pain go away…but your ergonomics at the workstation, at home or doing any activity can make a significant difference to your health.

We can often find those simple modifications, those easy answers to perform a task easier, and safer. The problem is that many of us do not take the time to change our habits, make changes and implement them consistently at our busiest work areas…the kitchen, in this case. The ‘pant hangar’ keeps the recipe near eye level, there is no awkward posture to maintain and the cabinet can even be accessed quite easily, well done!

 

This concept always applies to those that must ‘sit for a living’, the ‘desk jockeys’ of the finance, legal, grain and media industries here in Downtown Winnipeg. Like a ‘whiplash’, those muscle aches can proliferate throughout the upper back and neck.

 

Such that, you must remember to adjust your computer monitor height; use some yellow pages or photocopy paper bundles. Some recent ergonomic assessments have resulted in 8-10 inches of monitor height changes to accommodate the individual’s line of sight. Your eye level should be equal to that of the curser start position, in the most frequently used software program. This position allows the eye to adjust to a variability of 2-3 inches of text/toolbar and decreases or eliminates the chronic forward head posture.

Let your human resource department or health & safety manager know that I am available for any size group education, assessments and ergonomic design.