Since the re-opening of the clinic, we’ve been seeing a lot of patients who have aches and pains, specifically in placed like their knees, back or neck, that they might not have necessarily had before lockdown.
A common question we get asked by people aged 50+ is: “Why has my knee, back or neck pain got worse since lockdown?”. With restrictions easing, we’re sharing some of our top tips and stretching techniques from our physiotherapist to help ease those aches and pains.
Keep reading to watch a video of our physio Jonny showing you some useful stretching exercises.
‘Why has my knee, back or neck pain got worse since lockdown?’
Looking back over the last 16 months, what’s something we all had in common? We all stayed at home more. The regular meeting up with friends, exercising in groups, doing fun activities with the kids, and looking after the grandkids, became a thing out of the norm and this is what we adjusted to.
Working from a makeshift desk at home or sitting on the sofa watching the television became the new 9-5 for a lot of our patients at the Paul Gough Physio Rooms, which is something that has had a detrimental impact on lots of people’s physical health.
Now we can meet again, babysitting and social outings have resumed, so without you even realising, you’re putting strain on your knees, back, neck and other parts of your body, from simply walking more as you visit places, as well as picking up children more, kneeling to play with them, or running around after them.
This is something that you maybe didn’t even consider when thinking of what’s causing your knee or back pain, or any new pain you might be struggling with, as it possibly didn’t cause you any problems before lockdown.
It’s more important than ever to look after your joints to prevent more serious damage and you can do this by following our simple health tips.
What can you do to help… our top tips!
Every day that you wake up and you’re not doing something small to help yourself to stay active, you will be getting more and more stiff. You’ll be losing the flexibility of vital muscles and joints, a process which starts at the age of about 40, and as this happens, you’re more and more likely to suffer from things like back, knee and shoulder problems.
Keeping as active as possible, even by going out for a short walk, can help slow down this process.
When it comes to mental and physical health, meeting up with friends and family again, or just generally getting out and about again, is bound to have massive health benefits, but what do you do when you start to feel that pain in your knee, back, neck, hip, shoulder, or elbow etc.? Also, what can you do in advance to stop this from happening?…
4 top tips… including stretching exercises from our physio:
- Pace yourself – remember that your body has adjusted to a new way of living, going from doing nothing to doing everything is bound to take its toll without the proper care. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself just as we’re able to get outside and visit friends and family again, and as soon as the summer is here too. One of the main things we recommend is to pace yourself, don’t do too much too soon! Remember to take it easy and keep in mind that it’s a marathon – not a sprint.
- Stretch – with the summer approaching, we’ve been seeing a lot of patients that have been getting active through walking either around the local area or through finding a scenic spot for hill walks. One vital thing you can do to prepare yourself for this activity is stretching your legs. Just some simple exercises to elasticate those muscles (especially in your legs) are key to preventing further injury. We’ve added a video below from our physiotherapist Jonny which includes some simple stretch exercises and his top tips to keep yourself active as you adapt back to another new way of living. By following Jonny’s video and warming up correctly, you’re stretching the muscles in the back of your knee which are responsible for keeping you upright and having good posture, something that is essential to joint health and keeping you active.
- Stay hydrated – dehydration can lead to muscle tension and cramping, which is not only painful in itself, but it can lead to more serious injuries such as muscle sprain if dehydration is consistent. Try to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day (or a minimum of 2 litres) to reduce the risk of becoming dehydrated, especially if you’re planning on walking for over 10 minutes.
- Move – you can’t stretch your muscles without moving, by staying still stiffness begins to set in. To reduce stiffness, but prevent further damage, try to start small and build up your exercise levels as the weeks progress. Start with moving for 10 minutes, then 20, then 30 and so on to re-build the strength in your muscles and prevent muscle tension, aches and cramping.
Try to get into good, healthy habits as quickly as possible – starting today, in fact you’ve picked one up already by reading this blog! In doing so, you’re going to give yourself the best chance you can of being active, healthy and happy.
We’re here to help…
If you’re in pain and would like to talk to us about getting some help, some specialist advice, or if you are looking for a diagnosis, remember we are always here to help you.
We are safely offering both face-to-face and virtual appointments.
If you would like to get one of our limited slots, please click here to complete our enquiry form or CALL us on 01429 866771.
P.S. Do you know someone with aches in their knees, hips, or a really stiff lower back?
Who do you know that is always telling you about their aches and pains? We would love to help them live a pain free life too.
That person could be someone who you live with, work with, or an extended friend or family member, who is maybe suffering with some kind of ache or pain that we can fix. It might even be someone you enjoy to cycle with.
Even better, if you refer someone to come and see us at the clinic, you’ll be entered into our ‘Referral for Rewards’ prize draw, to say a huge thank you.