Due to lockdown, while we are stuck at home, our physical health is taking a toll. With no house help, most people are forced to do all the household chores.
On the other end, some family members are living an entirely sedentary life with barely any movements. In both cases, body pains are becoming the ugly side of excessive relaxation or over-workouts during the lockdown.
Lockdown is not the perfect time for excessive workouts as it is not possible for us to provide the necessary protein and fibre intake for the body due to grocery and veggie limitations. However, it is necessary to inculcate a specific regime in your routine to avoid any kind of pain.
Physiotherapist Dr Priyanka Tiwari Sharma shared the most common type of pain experienced by people during the lockdown and how to counter them for our readers.
What type of pain are you experiencing during the lockdown?
· Waistline pain, commonly known as back pain: Mostly due to mechanical issues and soft-tissue injuries. These injuries can include damage to the intervertebral discs, compression of nerve roots, and improper movement of the spinal joints.
· Shoulder and Neck pain: Long hours of holding neck in one position causes muscle strain resulting in such pains
· Knee pain: standing for long hours is the basic cause of this pain.
What to do to avoid straining muscles?
The basic reason for muscle strain is staying in a strained position for long. While we are cooking, we are often bending for hours and standing with very little movement. The same goes for all the household chores, where our range of movement is limited. It is necessary to be conscious and ensure stretching of muscles even while working. For example, if you are washing utensils and bending, then every few minutes stretch backwards for 20 seconds.
Stretch, strengthen & beat pains
Cat-Cow, or Chakravakasana, is a yoga pose which improves posture and balance. It is the best and easiest way to exercise back muscles and remove any kind of waistline pain. You must remember to be slow, so that blood can flow into muscle fibres and remove strain.
To do the cat-cow, the person is on their hands and knees and bends the spine up (like a cat) and then curves it downward (so your stomach hangs to the floor, like a cow). The movement is all in the spine moving like an accordion up and down.
Loosen leg muscles with ankle movements
This is a fairly simple way to loosen up muscles in your leg and ease the pain. Sit straight with your legs extended and flex your ankles. This will improve the blood flow and when you do it slowly, it will ease down the pain in your calf muscles.
Hamstring stretch for bending & climbing stairs
Hamstring stretches can increase flexibility and improve the range of motion in the hip. Both of these benefits will help people perform daily tasks, such as walking upstairs and bending over, with ease.
Lie down on the ground with your back flat and your feet on the ground, knees bent. Slowly bring your right knee to your chest.
Extend the leg while keeping the knee slightly bent. You may use a yoga strap or rope to deepen the stretch, but don’t tug on it too hard.
Wall Push-Up or Wall Stretch to strengthen shoulder & chest
Wall Push-Up helps in strengthening shoulder and chest muscles but does not put excessive bodyweight load on the muscles.
Stand in front of a wall, just over an arm's length away. Feet should be shoulder-width apart.
Bend your elbows and begin to lean your body toward the wall until your nose almost touches it. Ensure your back stays straight and your hips don't sag. Push back to the starting position and repeat.
This is essential for those people, who have taken a backseat and are enjoying the sedentary lifestyle. Step-ups hit all the major muscle groups in your lower body. The quads bear the brunt of the action but the move works your glutes, hamstrings and calves too. That means that as well as improving your stair-climbing game, step-ups will improve your strength and resilience for sports like running and cycling.
Place one foot on a step bench, platform, or the lowest step on a staircase. Keeping your pelvis level, bend your knee and slowly lower the opposite foot to the floor. Lightly touch your toe to the floor, then rise back up. Repeat 10-15 times, then switch legs.