3 Most common Upper Body conditions affecting Professionals engadging in repetitive work and how Pilates can help cure them

Upper limb disorders explained

Typical office workers sit with their head facing a computer, and arms/hands outstretched over a keyboard and mouse sometime resting their wrist instead of gliding. Unfortunately, office workers engage in unvarying position many hours each day. Height, weight and lack of mobility of the individual also play a part in exacerbating the problems as much as the work environment and bad set up of the workstation.

Reports of neck and back pain are extremely common in today’s society. Such pain is partially due to recruitment of incorrect muscles to maintain this position; which is often accompanied by poor posture, asymmetry, and extreme lateral domination. With the help of Pilates, you may cure these ailments issues and obtain peace of mind and a balanced body.

Absenteeism due to sickness at work –

Source: Labour Force Survey – Office for National Statistic 2016

Notes – ‘Musculoskeletal problems’ includes back pain, neck and upper limb problems and other musculoskeletal problems. ‘Other’ includes the total number of days lost to diabetes as well as days lost to accidents, poisonings, infectious diseases, skin disorders and anything else not covered. ‘Respiratory conditions’ include asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease [OPD], bronchitis and pneumonia. ‘Genito-urinary problems’ include urine infections, menstrual problems and pregnancy problems.

1) Stress at work could lead to teeth grinding

Bruxism is a medical term that describes the act of grinding the teeth and clenching the jaw.

Sometimes, people grind their teeth without it causing any symptoms or problems. However, regular and persistent teeth grinding can cause pain and discomfort in your jaw. The jaw and teeth are directly connected to the entire muscular system. So, if the jaw has teeth missing, is constantly clenched, or has metal fillings, it can impact the functioning of other areas of the body.

As it is more important to the body in survival terms that the teeth fit together correctly (for chewing, sucking and swallowing) than having optimal spine alignment, any imbalance will have repercussions on the postural system. It is therefore important to practice Pilates for optimum spinal care and also to keep your mouth shut, just not too tight!

What causes bruxism & who is affected?

Bruxism almost always occurs in association with other factors. About 70% of bruxism cases that occur during sleep are thought to be related to stress and anxiety, most common in adults between the ages of 25 and 44. About 8%-10% of the UK population is thought to be affected by teeth grinding. (www.nhschoices.uk)

2) Neck pain, Stiffness

Neck pain can be caused by positions during sleep, using the computer for prolonged time, anxiety, stress, and bruxism. As man evolved, the natural process of momentum to move forwards that we subconsciously lead with the jaw poking forward. As a result our neck extensor muscle are not switched on and we use too much of the flexors.

And this can lead to…

Kyphotic Lordosis is a common (back) alinment in office workers today. Neck pain due to the consistent over-recruitment of neck muscles to support the arms and head and under recruitment of shoulder girdle muscles causes much pain and discomfort, decreasing quality of life and people’s ability to work comfortable.

3) Upper limb disorders (WRULDs)

Upper limb disorders (WRULDs) affect the arms, from fingers to shoulder, and neck. They are often called repetitive strain injuries, ‘RSI’, cumulative trauma disorder or occupational overuse syndrome. According to HSE statistics, in 2005/06 an estimated 374 000 people in Great Britain suffered from (WRULDs) caused or made worse by their work. (HSE.GOV.UK)

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders describe a wide range of inflammatory and degenerative diseases and disorders. These conditions result in pain and functional impairment and may affect, besides others, the neck, shoulders, elbows, forearms, wrists and hands. They are work-related when the work activities and work conditions significantly contribute to their development or exacerbation but are not necessarily the sole determinant of causation. (Ref: www.hse.gov.uk) 

Understanding Centralised Pain

Whether pain is acute (one day old) or chronic (longer than 6 month duration), it is always 100% of the time processed by the brain. This does NOT mean that pain is in our imagination, but the mechanisms by which pain is produced is the product of our nervous system working.

Centralised pain is a pain experience that is generated and maintained by cells of our Central nervous system (CNS) and can be felt anywhere in the body. It does not have a clear connection with the muscles or tendons where you feel the pain. (Ref: Luct Rix- St John & Elizabeths)

How does Pilates help?

In this sedimentary world, 80% of complaint’s are of back problem however, there have been increasing reports of WRULDs/RSI. Even tough we see a decline in overall sickness leave in 2016, it is clear people are choosing to work even when sick due to our unfortunate economical downfall.

Pilates focuses on balancing the muscle relationships within the body and teaching how to properly support oneself with the correct muscles it is a long-term solution to pain. You will not only strengthen and use your muscles properly but also gain body awareness to help you in the future.

Unless you feel the referral pain, you might notice there is actually a problem. (i.e. Pain will only be produced by the brain when it perceives danger to body and thinks that an action is required to protect the body. Pain is a sensible sensation, it needs to be unpleasant to get you to change your behavior in order to protect yourself.

Often pain referral is not where the actual problem originates. i.e.

Ulna nerve pain

The largest nerve, unprotected by muscles or bones in the human body. It runs from the shoulder, down the arm to the little finger, and adjacent half of the ring finger, supplying the palmar side of these fingers, including both front and back of the tips, perhaps as far back as the fingernail beds. 

Referral pain

Pain / stiffness is usually felt in the hand or a pinching sensation on the posterior medial epicondyle of the humerus (shoulder)

If you think you have (WRULDs) symptoms, contact Hope Pilates TODAY.

Chronic pain in itself is a whole different ball game to deal with so lateral breathing technics will be beneficial for you not just for relaxation, but help to have a better body awareness & for Chronic Pain management different alongside CBT and other pain relief methods such as TENS & Kinesiology Taping method.

How does CBT approach for Chronic Pain help?

  • Focuses on the way you think and act in order to help you overcome your emotional and behavioural problems (Wilson and Branch, 2006).
  • A problem solving approach, enabling people to realise they can choose to think and react differently to pain

What is Kinesiology Tape (KT) & why use it?

An elastic sports and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support. (KT) This tape can also be used to prevent in injury, i.e. decrease overuse of a muscle or to treat an injury i.e. WRULDs

TENS Machine

TENS works on sending small currents attached to the area, which was diagnosed to bloke pain signals. Used also during labor pains, Tens sends currents via electrodes attached to the skin to stimulate the production of endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers.

Start your rehabilitation with Hope Pilates Today using all of these key methods (HOPE PILATES PAIN TOOL KIT)

Avoiding (WRULDs) symptoms doesn’t make it go away!

You CAN heal and prevent further harm to your body. Take control of your body now and don’t let it disable you!

To get your FREE consultation & to book your personalised

Pilates Pain Tool kit.

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Don’t delay, be PAIN FREE today!

 

 

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