How to avoid back pain at work

How to avoid back pain at work

Physiotherapist Sam Roshdy said by the time office workers felt pain in their backs it was already too late.

He understands the stresses and strains of ambition well, having set his sights on working for a first team Premiership football club.

But he said desk-bound Canary Wharf employees had to take a break from climbing the career ladder if they wanted to avoid ongoing discomfort.

“Being immobile is the worst thing for your body,” said Sam who works at Capital Physio based in the Citi building.

“Your muscles can tighten around your lower back and core and that can lead to your muscles weakening and there is more load on your joints and they can become irritable and painful.”

Most of his clients are suffering the ill effects of sitting at a desk for hours on end without moving.

Sam said: “Evidence suggests the best thing is constant activity as it results in your joint moving and becoming more mobile, your muscles becoming more flexible and generally with that you will become stronger.

He added: “If you are waiting for the pain to come on to move, then initially it might provide some brief pain relief, but then when you return to that position it will generally worsen throughout the day.

“So move before the pain arrives.”

The ambitious 23-year-old spilts his time between Canary Wharf and the Capital Physio branches in West India Quay and St Pauls and his career is a game of two halves.

He is about to start a masters in sports medicine at UCL so he can fulfil his dream to work for Arsenal.

“When I was 16 I realised I wasn’t going to be a professional footballer so I gave myself the goal of becoming a professional football physiotherapist one day, ideally for my boyhood club,” said Sam.

“I was watching a game and a player went down injured and the physio and club doctor ran on.

“I didn’t fancy going to medical school for five-to-seven years so researched physiotherapy.

“I was quite naive back then, but by pot luck I have ended up loving it.”

While studying at the University Of Southampton he realised he needed to step up his game in order to get to where he wanted.

“I did a pitch-side first aid course and started volunteering at loads of clubs like Portsmouth, Lymington Town FC, men’s rugby teams at uni and did lots of voluntary sports massages at running events such as Bupa Great South Run and the Reading Marathon. I also started the first ever physio society at uni.

“I went in all guns blazing because I feel like the more you expose yourself to the more experienced you become, despite your age and I wanted to stand out.

The Gerrards Cross resident has already landed roles with Watford FC youth teams, having previously worked with Barnet and Portsmouth and will soon be starting a role with Great Britain American Football Team travelling with them internationally and will be working with the GB Tennis Team in the summer.

Sam said: “I hope to travel with Team GB to an Olympics one day and to the Euros or World Cup.

“My plan is to graduate in September 2020 and then do a bit of travelling and do a ski season as a physio. I’m half French so maybe there.

“Then get my foot through the door in sports medicine and work my way up the ladder.”

In between all this he still manages to find time to go running and to the gym but not to play his beloved football.

“The thing about being a sports physio is my weekends are taken up by it so I can’t play it,” said Sam.

“That is the sacrifice you have to make. It’s very unsociable hours. You basically work when people are relaxing.”

If desk based stand up every 30 minutes even if it is just for a few seconds it will help your muscles relax.

Work within your limits and if necessary use pain relief.

Heat therapy such as a hot water bottle can be applied for 20 minutes to loosen the muscles and keep you mobile.

Don’t slouch. Your back will round and your pelvis will tilt which stretches the muscles in your lower back which can irritate them.

Use a lumbar pillow so you don’t have to consciously think of sitting upright.

Stand when possible and engage your core but don’t stand still for hours. Stay mobile.

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