Sudden pain surprises at work – The physiotherapist explains how you can prevent/cope with unanticipated pain incidents (Endorsement PT)

You may experience pain in unexpected situations like while getting into a moving train or while carrying your laptop bag to a meeting.

Managing such unexpected pain involves a combination of approaches, where you can achieve more from life with a wide variety of treatments which could be exercise, manual therapies, electrotherapy, correct postures, managing activity levels and improving fitness.

Tips for a healthy back while at work …

  • Sit up straight
  • Take regular breaks from your desk or your work
  • Vary your activities throughout the day
  • Exercise regularly
  • Lose any excess weight

Safe lifting and handling while at work …

  • Use appropriate handling aids for lifting a heavy load. Consider resting the load mid-way on a table or bench to change your grip on it for long lifts.
  • While lifting keep the load close to your waist as long as possible and keep the heaviest side of the load next to the body or try to slide it towards the body before trying to lift it if closely approaching the load isn't possible
  • Adopt a stable position where your feet should be apart with one leg slightly forward to maintain balance and move your feet if need be during the lift in order to maintain a stable posture.
  • Ensure a good hold on the load by hugging it close to the body which may be a better option than gripping it tightly with the hands only.
  • Do not bend your back when lifting although slight bending of the back, hips and knees at the start of the lift is preferable to squatting fully. And do not flex the back any further while lifting.
  • Avoid twisting the back or leaning sideways while lifting whereas turning by moving your feet is better than twisting and lifting at the same time.
  • Keep your head up when handling the load and look ahead and not down at the load once it has been held securely.
  • Move smoothly and do not jerk or snatch the load as this can make it harder to keep control and can increase the risk of injury.
  • Know your limits and do not lift or handle more than what can be easily managed. The load should be lowered down and then adjusted to the desired position.

Staying in good physical and mental health is the best way to prevent pain or cope with pain.

Some tips to help you cope with pain …

  • Learn to relax with deep breathing exercise or meditation
  • Reduce stress in life
  • Exercise, as it helps in relieving chronic pain with the natural endorphins
  • Cut back on alcohol and stop smoking
  • Find ways to distract yourself from pain so that you can enjoy life more
  • Join a support group and meet other people living with chronic pain
  • Track your pain level every day
  • Get a massage for relief of chronic pain