How to Ease Away Office Pains

By on November 15, 2017

Office life can be painful – in more ways than one! Whether it’s tension in your shoulders, a dull pain in your hips, or a pounding headache, you know how achy your body can feel at the end of the work day.

Pain in the Neck (and everywhere else!)
Desk jobs aren’t without physical demands. If you notice tension in your neck and right shoulder after spending time at your computer, lower your mouse to the keyboard drop-tray rather than having it on your desk. Keeping it on the drop-tray creates a better angle for your joints, thereby minimizing muscle aches. You can also reduce neck pain when typing by using a document holder to stand papers upright. Holding your head straight instead of hanging it forwards to look down at papers reduces potential strain in neck muscles.

Typing and other repetitive actions of the hand and wrist can also lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, with symptoms like pain, tingling and numbness. Before you begin in the morning, rotate your wrists and stretch your palms and fingers to warm up, and take a few breaks throughout the day. Keeping your keyboard at elbow height or slightly lower, so that your wrists are held at a fairly neutral angle, will also reduce your risk of developing the condition (Mayo Clinic, 2017).

Stressing the Pain
With tight deadlines, demanding targets, and threats of downsizing, you’ve likely experienced some level of workplace stress. Research has shown that pain is aggravated by stress, since it reduces the body’s ability to control inflammation. Not only can pain be worsened by stress, but studies have shown that stress can actually be the root cause of chronic pain (Babbel, 2010).

The stress-pain connection shows how crucial it is to adopt some stress-relieving practices. When you feel you’re about to boil over, step away from the computer, phone, or whatever the stressor may be! Take a 5 minute walk, or even just stand up to stretch. This small act can help you recenter and allows you to address the problem in a more calm and deliberate way. And as difficult as it might be, take on only what you can manage, and ask your boss for extensions when it is just to do so. When you don’t feel overstretched, you will be able to perform much better.

Lunchtime Cures
Lunchtime provides a great opportunity to reduce workplace pain, both in what you eat and how you spend your break. Pain happens due to your body’s inflammatory response, so minimize your intake of inflammatory foods like sugar, dairy, meat and corn, while feasting on anti-inflammatory foods like veggies, pineapple, and turmeric. Chronic pain can also be controlled with the help of cauliflower, cherries, and kiwi (Borigini, 2011). And when it’s time to eat your anti-inflammatory lunch, take it outside! Spending just 15 minutes in nature can reduce inflammation (Shaffer, 2017), thereby lessening pain.

Call in the Back-up
Even if you’ve adopted these nutrition and lifestyle tips, you might find the pain is still too much. You can support your body naturally with supplements that reduce inflammation and pain. While you can season curries and soups with turmeric, you could increase its anti-inflammatory action by taking a higher dose in pill form. This way, you know that you’re getting the amount needed to block inflammation. It’s even better to find a supplement that pairs turmeric with black pepper, which increases its absorption (Shoba et al., 1998). Look for a product that includes some other powerful antioxidants, like pine bark extract, devil’s claw, bromelain (from pineapple), and serrapeptase.

Serrapeptase is a systemic enzyme that breaks down scar tissue and relieves inflammation. This enzyme has been used to reduce joint pain, back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Serrapeptase can be found in joint formulas, but can also be taken on its own. Look for a product that uses delayed release capsules so that the enzyme can be delivered to the intestines for maximum absorption, providing the most effective relief of your pain.

Resources:

1) Babbel, Susanne. “The Connections Between Emotional Stress, Trauma, and Physical Pain.” 2010. 

2) Borigini, Mark. “Nutrition and Chronic Pain.” Psychology Today. 2011. 

3) Mayo Clinic. “Carpal tunnel syndrome self-management.” 2017. 

Cassie Irwin is a nutrition expert and healing foods writer. Find your food cure on Cassie’s blog thekitchndoctor.com and follow her on Instagram @cassiehopeirwin

 

 

About Charleen Wyman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *