By Karen Raine MSc, BSc, MCSP
So, if you thought of your body as a car, which one of these images would best describe its condition?
Are you a dream machine?
A bit of a clunker?
All joking aside, most of us understand the sense in giving our car a regular service to help stave off mechanical problems or rust, but when it comes to our bodies we tend to wait until the ‘wheels have fallen off’ before we seek help!
Our bodies work best when we change position frequently, maintain a good posture & have strong muscles & flexible joints.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of modern jobs involve sitting or standing for hours at a time in poor postures with limited joint movements. Many daily tasks are also monotonous & repetitive. As a consequence, aches & pains are common place.
Our bodies are wonderfully complex biological machines, with the ability to heal when damaged, or ‘abused’ by our lifestyles. However, when that abuse or damage is daily, they often need a helping hand to heal.
So how do we stave off musculoskeletal problems generated by our modern sedentary lives?
Here are a couple of things you might want to consider.
There are several things I like about Pilates.
There is no jumping around & all movements are precise, controlled & flowing, which helps to protect your joints.
There is very little equipment involved & so it is inexpensive.
You don’t need to leave the house if you don’t want to. That said, classes are great fun, motivational & a chance to make friends.
Pilates is a brilliant way to develop power, strength, flexibility, balance & core stability, all without jarring the joints. It also improves posture & links movement to correct breathing.
It is ideal for all ages & fitness levels (or lack thereof). I would recommend classes or one to one training, at least initially, so that you establish good technique & learn the core principles involved. Once you have the basics nailed, you can continue to attend classes when you are able or work out at home when time is short.
Add to that a regular physiotherapy session & you are well on your way to a much more comfortable, if not pain free existence.
So, what can musculoskeletal physiotherapists do to help the situation?
Very often in sedentary workers we find hypomobility (reduced movement or stiffness) of the spine. Workers who are on their feet all day are not immune; they often stand in poor postures for prolonged periods. Movement can be greatly improved with a combination of
For your body, that’s the equivalent of an interim service & MOT
A car, especially a classic car deserves to be cherished & cared for, not left to rust & seize up.
Do yourself a favour; treat your body at least as well as your car. A little maintenance goes a long way!