Here is some useful information that will help you get and stay pain and injury free! If you can think of anything else we should add, please contact Jacoline Scott Physiotherapists.
We provide patients with ergonomic advice, teach kinetic handling and provide tips on injury prevention, pain management etc.:
Useful tips to prevent back and neck pain
- When carrying a heavy object use both arms and hold the object as close as possible.
- When sitting, sit with your back supported against the back rest of the chair.
- Do not slide forward or slump in an armchair.
- Do not sit in one position for a long time – get up and move!
- If reading, typing, knitting etc. for any length of time, circle your shoulders regularly, sit up straight and try not to stoop forward.
- Make sure car seat is far enough forward.
- Sit up straight.
- If your neck is painful, support it with a towel or soft collar.
- Take breaks along the way.
- When studying, books must be placed 45 degrees up in front of you.
- Working surfaces must be high enough not to have to stoop or bend the neck and back forward, but not so high that neck moves beyond the neutral position which is half way between the bent and stretched position.
Reading in bed:
- It is best to lie on one side with 2 pillows under neck and head, with the back supported on a pillow.
- If on back, bend knees with pillow on tummy, rest hands and book on pillows.
- Firm bed and one good pillow, don’t use feather pillows.
- When lying on one side, use a pillow that allows 90 degrees between neck and shoulder (neutral head position) and tuck the pillow into the corner between the shoulder and neck.
- If on back, lie horizontally i.e. straight, not with head propped up against the head rest.
- Never sleep on your tummy because then your head is twisted to one side.
If you need any more advice, please contact Jacoline Scott Physiotherapists Inc.
Desk and computer set up is VERY important to prevent pain and injuries in the workplace. In the twentieth century, hours of work at a computer are forever increasing and so are problems related to poor ergonomics.
You only need to sit badly for a few minutes to cause pain or an injury. Below is a diagram showing the correct desk and computer set-up. It is important to sit upright with your arms supported and your back as far back in the seat as possible with feet flat on the floor.
Never sit at your desk for too long, try and get up every hour and move around. If you do sit all day, it is important to keep moving especially if you feel like you are getting stiff. Below are some exercises that you can do at your desk to help prevent pain or stiffness.
Exercises to do at your desk
Correct desk set-up
Useful tips to prevent running injuries
Because of its high-impact nature, many injuries are associated with running.
Stress fractures can also occur in runners that train at a high volume or intensity. Physiotherapists recommend the following to minimise injuries:
- Warm up properly
- Focus on proper running form and use good shoes
- Perform strength training exercises
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Allow time for recovery
- Don’t increase your mileage by more than ten percent per week
- Icing – apply ice to sore muscles or take an ice bath
- Use the RICE principles immediately after an injury: REST; ICE; COMPRESSION; ELEVATION
Speak to Jacoline Scott Physiotherapists for more information and advice regarding the information presented.
If you do find yourself injured, do not attempt “to run through the pain” as this could further damage the injury and prolong the recovery. First seek advice from Jacoline Scott Physiotherapists Inc.
What Heat and Ice Application are for:
Ice is for fresh injuries, and heat is for stiff, aching muscles. Roughly. But the devil is in the details, and there are a lot of them.
Ice is for injuries — calming down damaged superficial tissues that are inflamed, red, hot and swollen. The inflammatory process is a healthy, normal, natural process that also happens to be incredibly painful and more biologically stubborn than it needs to be. Icing is mostly just a mild, drugless way of dulling the pain of inflammation and taking swelling down a bit. Examples: a freshly pulled muscle or a new case of IT band syndrome (which is more likely to respond than the other kind of runner’s knee, patellofemoral pain, because ITBS is superficial and PFPS is often a problem with deeper tissues).
Heat is for muscles, chronic pain, and stress — taking the edge off symptoms like muscle aching and stiffness, which have many unclear causes, but trigger points are probably one of the usual suspects. Chronic pain, especially back pain, often involves lots of tension, anxiety, hypervigilance, and sensitization, and comfortable heat can soothe a jangled mind and nervous system. Stress and fear are major factors in many painful problems, of course.
Alternating between applications of ice and heat is called contrasting therapy. It’s extremely stimulating and is mostly used to facilitate injury recovery, with unknown efficacy.
What ice and heat are not for
Both ice and heat have the potential to do some minor, temporary harm when used poorly. Heat can make inflammation significantly worse. Ice can aggravate symptoms of tightness and stiffness; it can also just make any pain worse when it’s unwanted.
Both ice and heat are pointless or worse when unwanted: icing when you’re already shivering, or heating when you’re already sweating. The brain may interpret an excess of either one as a threat, but icing is more threatening — and when brains think there’s a threat, they may also amp up the pain. Ice seems to feel more threatening to most people.
If you add heat to a fresh injury, watch out: it’s going to get worse!
Be especially wary of icing muscle pain — and it may not be obvious. You may think your back is injured, for instance, but it may “just” be muscle pain. Trigger points (painfully sensitive spots) can be surprisingly intense and easily mistaken for “iceable” injury and inflammation. But if you ice trigger points, they may burn and ache even more acutely. This mistake is made particularly often with low back pain and neck pain — the very conditions people often try to treat with ice.
Heat and inflammation are the other particularly bad combination. If you add heat to a fresh injury, watch out: it’s going to get worse! A physician once told my father to heat a freshly injured knee, and wow — it swelled up like a balloon, three times bigger than it had been before. And three times more painful.
What about injured muscle? Muscle strains?
If you’re supposed to ice injuries, but not muscle pain, then what does one do with an injured muscle (a muscle tear or muscle strain)? That can be a tough call, but ice usually wins — but only for the first few days at most, and only if it really is a true muscle injury. A true muscle injury usually involves obvious trauma during intense effort, causing severe pain suddenly. If the muscle is truly torn, then use ice to take the edge off the pain at first. Once the worst is over after a few days, switch to heat.
Which is better: heat or ice?
Ideal uses of ice and heat are roughly equal in potency — which isn’t very potent. Neither is strong medicine. Some experiments have shown that both have only mild benefits, and those benefits are roughly equal in treating back pain. The reason to use them is not that they are highly effective treatments — they rarely are — but because they are so cheap, easy, and mostly safe, especially compared to many other popular treatments.