Since lockdown started 3 weeks ago (and doesn’t look to be ending anytime soon), we have been increasingly contacted by people who have developed new aches or pains that they didn’t have before or old issues that have suddenly resurfaced – seemingly without cause.
“I’m not sure what I’ve done but back has started to cause me problems”
“This pain in my foot has just come out of nowhere and I haven’t even been doing my usual training”
And there appears to be a clear pattern to these new injuries too.
Every one of the people contacting us (unsurprisingly) have had a sudden change of routine and in some cases this has been vast.
The commuter that’s used to cycling to the train station and catching the early morning train to London is now getting up later in the morning and spending hours slumped over the kitchen table working from home.
The regular gym bunny has seen a drop in exercise frequency and is experimenting with new ways to workout at home.
People are doing more DIY and gardening with their new found time.
And more people are getting out walking and running than they have done previously.
All these changes in routine are now causing new problems.
Why? Because the body simply isn’t used to it!
Those previously used to wearing heeled shoes 12 hours of the day are now walking around the house barefoot and are starting to develop foot pain, calf tightness, plantar fasciitis and achilles issues because those structures just aren’t used to working in that way. Some may be developing overuse issues as those trying to keep up a level of exercise and mental wellbeing increase time on their feet through increased walking and taking up running.
People jumping into ‘one size fits all’ exercise classes and YouTube videos are also finding issues developing quickly. My own mum even hurt herself exercising to Joe Wick’s PE lesson for kids!!
No going to the gym – a routine that has previously kept aches and pains at bay for many has now been taken away.
Some people I’ve spoken too have develop back issues through purely sitting around more and some that are accustomed to sitting at a desk most of the day from increased bending over gardening, painting and doing DIY in this good weather we’ve been having; leading to overused issues and aching muscles.
Neck, shoulder, forearm and wrist issues are on the rise as people swap their ergonomic work setups for the sofa or makeshift home desks. (Learn our top tips for setting up to work from home here)
And not only will our physical health be at risk but also our mental wellbeing (read more on how to combat that here). With the understandable increase in anxiety and stress levels at this difficult time, we will see changes to our breathing patterns. As breathing becomes more shallow and accelerated in stressful situations we end up overusing the muscles in our necks and upper chest to expand our collar bones and upper ribs to breath instead of our diaphragms – a process known as an ‘upper chest’ or ‘dysfunctional’ breathing pattern and is commonly associated with neck, shoulder and postural issues as well as tension headaches.
All as a result of our day to day being replaced with activities and routines our bodies are not used to and with all this change suddenly thrust upon us with no warning for our bodies, it’s of no surprise we are starting to see an outbreak of a different kind!
If you feel you have started to feel the effects of lockdown on your body or are looking at ways to prevent picking up issues with your change of routine, keep an eye out for some of the free information we have and will continue to put out in the next few weeks.
For those of you that want to take action against this and speak with one of our specialists, our online video appointment service may be for you.