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How Movement Can Help With Joint Pain

2nd October 2019

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By Mike Dilke from Relaxback.

Before you read this, you need to know that I am a civil engineer and have been responsible for looking after bridges rather than people. However, I do know that a structure - be it flesh and blood or bricks and mortar - needs to be maintained and used to get the best out of it. So if you get the go-ahead from your doctor to move then please do take that advice.

Almost any movement or exercise is likely to help, not only with joint pain, but with weight loss, improving balance, maintaining bone strength and strengthening muscles around problem joints. And there is a good chance it will also make you feel happier!

Building exercise into a daily routine has to be the way to go to help keep up a regime, but if can be difficult if you have a sedentary office job - so here are some ideas to keep you moving at work.

1. Use a standing desk

Desks that move up and down at the touch of a button allow you to stand or sit to work and a lot of people love them. However, don’t just change a poor sitting posture for an inappropriate standing one. Stand upright with equal weight on both feet and then sit down when you are feeling tired.

2. Don’t be confined to your desk

Think about ways that get you to move around the office, for instance, go and see your colleague rather than sending them an email. Also, some people walk up and down the office while on the phone, which might get you more active but could also drive your colleagues mad.

3. Get a desk treadmill

To prevent you from getting on your colleagues' nerves, the answer might be to get a desk treadmill, which will keep you walking while you’re at a standing desk.

These aren’t yet popular in the UK as they are big, heavy items to have in an office that you need to plug in and you can’t just put them in your briefcase to take them from office to office.

4. Consider a standing board

A standing board might be the solution you’re looking for as they can simulate going for a gentle stroll while standing at your desk. The Active Stand keeps you comfortable and gently active throughout the day.

The soft cushioning provides comfort, which is more forgiving on your feet than a hard floor, while the ‘nobbly’ surface gives them a pleasant massage. The gentle movement burns calories, prevents blood pooling in your feet and ankles, and keeps your mind more alert.

5. Perseverance is key

A bit of movement every day is really going to make a difference so experiment with different techniques to find a way that suits you in helping make your office time more active.

6. Let it out

Recent research has shown that swearing really can help with the pain. Mike Dilke has a weekly podcast on UK Health Radio, covering many health topics but often musculoskeletal issues. You can hear about the research from the ‘sweary scientist’ on Mike’s podcast on UK Health radio. It might not be a long-term solution but can be useful when it hurts right then and now.

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