The chaotic and uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic have profoundly changed most people’s lives.
The lockdown aimed at reducing the risk of infection has made other health conditions significantly harder to handle as many non-essential clinics and health professionals have shuttered their doors.
From day one of the restrictions being put in place, people were obliged to cancel all social plans, stay at home, and start working remotely. The consequences of this go beyond doing one’s job from the comfort of their beds and start spreading into the realm of isolation, mental health, and physical wellbeing.
Due to the lockdown, some people have reported suffering higher pain levels and more frequent mental breakdowns.
During a pandemic, it should be of the highest importance for everyone to take good care of their health simply because walking into a doctor’s office just isn’t always an option anymore. With hospital visits limited to a necessary minimum, most people have to find a way of dealing with the long-lasting stress and chronic pains on their own.
While any type of chronic pain treatment should be left to professionals, there are some helpful ways in which you can attend to your pain and gain temporary relief. Here are some tricks that have proven to work on different parts of the body.
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What is chronic pain?
Pain is considered chronic when it lasts for longer than 12 weeks, despite treatment or medication.
Chronic pain is very easy to ignore by society, and the people who don’t experience it. Often, the sufferer is discredited and not taken seriously. A typical patient has visited multiple doctors, tried a dozen medications, and still cannot get rid of the ever-present pain.
In times of the COVID-19 pandemic, being aware of the best at-home methods of dealing with chronic pain may be a priceless knowledge.
Related reading: The ultimate guide to the 21 best natural painkillers
Closed gyms, restrictions on going outside, and home offices have caused people to become more sedentary than usual. Not everyone has the motivation to set up their home gym and be just as revved up as when they go out to exercise.
Not to mention the exercise we get without even thinking about it. The 10 minutes’ walk most people would take from the subway or even parking lot to their office building has been naturally replaced with the three-second stroll from the bedroom to the kitchen. The outcome? Numb muscles, weight gain, and overall mood decrease.
Moreover, it is not very likely that most of the population owns a professional office chair that’s designed to be ergonomic.
Chances are, since the coronavirus outbreak, they spend days sitting in a position hurting their spines, on the couch or at the kitchen table. Or even worse, in bed.
Poor desk posture leads to back pains, and if prolonged for too much time, it can cause chronic back pain.
To avoid suffering the disease and keep your spine healthy, try:
There are numerous benefits of regular training. Try doing some basic pilates exercises for back pain relief and spinal muscle strengthening. They are pleasant and easily doable at home. Yoga and stretching also do wonders — you should get up and stretch or at least walk around every hour when sitting down at a computer.
Placing your setup correctly
Make sure the computer screen is at your eye level, directly in front of you. If you have a laptop, it’s best to get a separate keyboard and elevate the screen, instead of hunching down. Do not recline your seat. Place the keyboard in such a way that your elbows create a 90-degree angle. Put your feet flat on the ground.
Moving every now and then
Take a 5-7 minute break every once an hour to walk around your house, do some jumping jacks, or stretch. In other words, change your position frequently. That is an easy way to energize your muscles and prevent potential pains.
Migraines and headaches are some of the most common examples of chronic pains that people suffer from. During the coronavirus pandemic, the number of people experiencing this type of pain has increased significantly.
Much of the in-person visits have been replaced with telemedicine. In that case, communication is vital. Remember to speak about your ailments openly, clearly, and be as precise as you can. Otherwise, they will not be able to help you.
Due to initial warnings concerning COVID-19 susceptibility, some treatments requiring nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and migraine medications have been withdrawn. If you were using them before the pandemic, it is best to contact the doctor to see if you should continue or change it.
There’s plenty of different home remedies that can help alleviate headache pain, depending on the type of chronic headaches you experience. If you suffer from migraines, try putting a cold pack on your forehead and lay down in a dark room.
For tension headaches, place a heating pad / hot compress on your neck or back of the head and try some light stretches, relaxation techniques, and/or massaging your neck and temples.
Along with the back pain, comes another lousy result of working remotely — neck pain. The inconspicuous neck is, in fact, one of the most crucial parts of your body. It supports the head’s weight and protects the nerves that carry important information from your brain to the other parts of your body.
To prevent yourself from chronic neck pain, work in proper lighting. If your workplace is poorly illuminated, you will end up craning your neck, thus straining it. For the most optimal home office experience, make sure the screen is well-lit, in front of you, and precisely on your eye-level.
Try standing instead of sitting. Chances are you have a windowsill or a tall chest of drawers. Place your laptop on it, and try working in a standing position for some time. It is more natural for your body than sitting and can be beneficial both for the neck and the back.
The bottom line
All of the methods mentioned above should help with the prevention of developing pain while working at home.
The pain management techniques, however, will not make the pain go away entirely. It is best to treat them as an at-home solution in the pandemic’s challenging times, rather than a permanent and only solution.
If you have chronic pain that won’t go away no matter what you do, see a professional.