Surge in ‘work from home’ injuries – Kent Online - Freelance Rack

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Surge in ‘work from home’ injuries – Kent Online

An experienced physiotherapist says he is starting to see a surge in “work from home” medical problems.

Up to 70% of patients visiting Liam Swain are experiencing issues related to operating away from their offices.

Physio Liam Swain at work at his practice in Walderslade

Physio Liam Swain at work at his practice in Walderslade

Physio Liam Swain at work at his practice in Walderslade

Since lockdown began in March, millions of workers have had to get used to new arrangements.

Mr Swain, who has been practising for nine years, is a specialist musculoskeletal physio.

He said: “I have seen changes in the aches, pains and injuries presenting to me.

“I would estimate 60-70% of patients currently have problems aggravated by changes in their working routines.”

The 29-year-old currently has a surgery in Park Club Gym, Walderslade.

Liam Swain has seen a spike in the number of people needing help

Liam Swain has seen a spike in the number of people needing help

Liam Swain has seen a spike in the number of people needing help

But until last October, he was physio manager at KIMS private hospital near Maidstone.

He says is seeing an estimated 30 people a week – but this will increase significantly once lockdown restrictions are eased further.

He added: “Neck pain is a common complaint. Rarely is our desk set up at home as good as in the office.

“Often the position of the screen is too low, this leads to you constantly looking down which builds tension over the neck and upper shoulder muscles.

“This can make the shoulders roll forward which adds pressure to those overworking neck muscles.

Liam Swain used to be head of his department at KIMS Hospital in Maidstone

Liam Swain used to be head of his department at KIMS Hospital in Maidstone

Liam Swain used to be head of his department at KIMS Hospital in Maidstone

“A good solution is to try raising the height of the screen, using a laptop stand or even using a few books under the base of the computer.

“A rough gauge is that the top of the screen should line up with your eye level.”

The medic, who lives in Lordswood, also has advice regarding using the phone.

He added: “Trying to type while on the phone can be a nightmare, so often people put the phone to their ear and support it in place using their shoulder.

“This leads to tension building in the neck muscles and causes pain. Try using a headset, headphone or even speaker phone to avoid this issue.

Back and neck problems are most prevalent in people working from home

Back and neck problems are most prevalent in people working from home

Back and neck problems are most prevalent in people working from home

“Similarly, pain in the upper and mid back seems to be on rise.

“Sitting on a dining room chair provides far less support than an office one.

“This eventually leads to the core muscles fatiguing and our posture leans forwards more, creating stiffness in the middle part of the spine.

“A good trick is try rolling up a small towel and placing the lower back (against the back of the chair), this can help to hold you up straighter and put less pressure on the mid back.

“Try some gentle rotations of your back every couple of hours too, simply cross your arms over your chest and gently twist from side to side.”

Mr Swain says with working from home set to become the new normal for many, firms need to think ahead.

He added: “I think it’s important employers should invest in proper kit forpeople working from home long-term.”

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone




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