Is your ‘new work office’ a pain in the neck?

Is your ‘new work office’  a pain in the neck?- Quick Tips to Avoid Back & Neck Pain Whilst Working From Home during Covid-19.

With the unprecedented times we currently face, many of us find we are working in a different environment at the moment- One not designed for sitting eight hours a day….

Quick Tips from your friendly Physio:

  1. Comfort is key! Set up your workspace well- invest in a wireless/plug in keyboard & mouse. And even treat yourself to a laptop stand (or a stack of books works just as well).
  2. Take regular breaks- AWAY from your workspace; grab a glass of water, check on the kids or you could even do one of those stretches your physio prescribed you!
  3. Sit less!- be creative with cardboard boxes to make a standing desk, stand during online meetings or webinars, walk during phone calls.
  4. Use your Lunch Break to get MOVING! Even if you can’t spare half an hour to hit your daily activity quota, get creative- Walk Up & Down the Stairs, March on the Spot, or grab a ball and head outside with the kids.
  5. Whenever you feel uncomfortable- get up and stretch! Some examples below to try.

Levator Scapulae Stretch:

Gently take your nose towards your right armpit. Place your right hand on top of your head and apply slight over pressure into the stretch.
Hold here maintaining a gentle stretch for 10-20 seconds.
Repeat to the other side

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Mid-Back Rotation:
Cross your left leg over your right leg, placing your right hand on the top knee.
Rotate the body to the left, looking over your left shoulder.
Hold here for 10-20 seconds
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If you’re doing these things and still struggling with pain, KEEP CALM AND CALL YOUR PHYSIO! We are open for Online Video Consultations.

Call 075761860 OR email: kim@buretaphysio.co.nz to book your appointment TODAY.

Written by Kimberley Pilbrow

Sleep Hygiene

SLEEP

 

If there is one thing I could say to our community right now in order to stay or get healthy is to prioritise SLEEP. The World Health Organisation deems sleep the foundational of the three pillars of health, with diet and exercise being the other two. Studies show that between a third and two thirds of the Western World do not get enough hours of sleep per night.

Sleep has a significant impact on the reduction of both illness and injury and is one of the few interventions that can help prevent both contact and non-contact injuries. Performance research shows us that adequate sleep improves our accuracy, sprint and reaction times as well as the perception of strength and effort. It also has a huge impact on mental health. The brain recalibrates during sleep. It is no surprise then to find out that mood swings, paranoia, depression, anxiety and dementia are all linked to poor sleep.

 

Now back to current times and COVID 19 where prioritizing sleep is important in strengthening our immune system in order to fight off illness particularly when our body is under stress – which currently is more likely to be mental than physical but the body doesn’t have the ability to alter its responses to this.

 

In order to ensure you have a good night’s sleep both sleep rhythm and sleep drive is needed. Sleep drive is the need for sleep ie how tired you are. This can be challenging in the current situation if you aren’t getting as much physical exertion into your day as normal but for many this drive is increased simply from the mental stress of the lockdown and the uncertainties surrounding this. Sleep rhythm is ensuring you have regular sleep and wake times. This is why when you have a night out or stay up late to watch that extra movie even though you feel exhausted you don’t sleep as well.

In an ideal world the majority of adults get around 7.5 hours sleep as a minimum as each sleep cycle is approximately 90 minutes and we need 5 of them for a full night’s sleep. This does vary with age. Our children should be getting more as their requirements are greater, given they are growing and the elderly may need less.

Genetics play a part. Early birds or lions make up only 15% of the population. Usually those that are list makers, many CEO’s and those in management make up the large proportion of this group. They are asleep early and up early.

Wolves or night owls on the other hand are categorised as generally being creative personalities, high risk takers, often introverted even if they are extroverted in public life i.e. actors’ musicians authors. Ideally sleep to your rhythm, this gives you the best chance to achieve a good night’s sleep.

 

 

But its not all about quantity.

Sleep is about quantity and quality. Poor sleep is linked with a large number of physical conditions and diseases including increased blood pressure, heart disease, reduced immune function, diabetes, ncreased intensity of pain when pain is felt, weight gain, poor decision making, lower testosterone and lower libido in females.

Most likely it is the relationship between sleep and decision making and reaction times that are likely where the link to injury prevention comes in – more sleep better reaction time and decision making.

 

Food, Vitamins and sleep

Metabolism is affected negatively by sleep deprivation as metabolism slows down. Increased stress results in increased cortisol release which results in increased appetite BUT slower metabolism and therefore fat deposition. We are also more likely to overeat when we are sleep deprived as leptin decreases and this is hormone that tells us we are full.

 

People who are sleep deprived lack vitamin C and Selenium which affects immune function. Things you can try and do to help with this are to put citrus in your water and eat mushrooms or Brazil nuts to boost these vitamins.  B vitamins are essential for good sleep and serotonin levels so eat food rich in B vitamins such as broccoli.

Magnesium helps boost the quality of sleep as it helps regulate your circadian rhythm.. Ensure meals and snacks contain greens, nuts, brown rice and other grains. Bananas are loaded with magnesium so are awesome for sleep.

A lack of vitamin D can cause poor sleep quality. Getting out and about in the sunshine particularly at this time of the year when the sun isn’t too hot(whilst staying within your bubble!) is the most useful way of ensuring adequate Vitamin D.

Salmon is one of the best foods for sleep as it helps melatonin production.

For those that suffer with restless legs – ensure iron intake is sufficient as this is often a cause or part of the picture– eat plenty of spinach, red meat and other iron sources at the same time as consuming vitamin C (ie orange juice) as this increases your iron absorption. Ensure you don’t consume tea or coffee near these meals as these both affect your body’s ability to absorb iron.

 

Supplements and sleep

Melatonin is not good for insomnia; it is for jet lag. It affects the rhythm. It’s a sleep regulator not initiator so really useful for shifting sleep rhythm where appropriate. A lack of melatonin causes shallow sleep, insomnia or regular awakenings so is the other time where it is useful. 1-1.5mg is ideal amount – many are taking far too much/too higher dose. It takes 90 minutes to work so needs to be taken 90 minutes before sleep or blood plasma levels aren’t sufficient to work. Take for right reason, at right time in right amount!

 

On return to normal life

If post lockdown you continue to struggle with sleep go see your GP for an assessment of this. You may require some blood tests to check your levels of Vitamin D, melatonin, iron and magnesium. If this doesn’t give you any answers we can help. Learning strategies to deal with poor sleep can be really useful and one of the most effective with this is correct breathing patterns and breathing exercises to ensure your parasympathetic nervous system is engaged and your body and mind is therefore able to wind down and sleep.

 

 

For those who struggle with sleep if you are going to stress about sleep and your lack of it you aren’t likely to get a good night’s sleep so it’s somewhat of a “catch 22”. So where do you start?

Number 1 – PRIORITISE SLEEP – do you really need to watch that movie? Watch one more episode on tv? Play around on your phone when it’s just before bed time?

Know that one nights poor sleep won’t cause you significant issues in the long term. Changing your sleep patterns is a process like any other aspect of improving health and wellness. It takes a plan and the implementation of it.

Sleep hygiene is where to start! If you have any questions on this please send us an email on reception@buretaphysio.co.nz or give us a call on 5761860.

 

IN THE MEANTIME SORT OUT TONIGHTS PLAN!!

Improve your sleep

Strategies to Improve quality and/or quantity of sleep

Inadequate sleep and/or poor- quality sleep affects the non-athletic and athletic population. Consequently, adequate sleep is a critical component for post exercise recovery thus effecting performance. Therefore, below we have listed strategies you can implement to enhance your sleep quality to optimise your health, work/sport performance and recovery.

Nutrition do’s and don’ts
Do’s

Consume tryptophan containing foods such as milk, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, beans, peanuts, cheese and leafy green vegetables in the evening meal to increase melatonin production.

Try including carbohydrate foods at dinner to assist with Serotonin production, e.g. potatoes, rice, pasta… this may not be ideal if overweight or working on losing fat.

Try consuming 30ml tart cherry juice in the evening to increase exogenous melatonin intake (also decreases DOMS -Delayed Onset Muscle soreness). Use in a periodised way, e.g. around high volume training or to get sleep sorted initially if in a rut or during competition.

Consume a balanced, healthy diet, including adequate wholegrains, low fat dairy foods, fruits and vegetables for magnesium and B vitamins.

Try 300-400mg Magnesium supplement prior to bed.
Don’ts

Alcohol intake prior to bedtime (fragments sleep later in the night)

Caffeine and nicotine stimulants intake prior to bedtime (individual tolerances do exist). This includes coffee, tea, energy drinks, cola, chocolate.

To be cautious of
Be conscious of food portions before bed (eating large portions of food can raise core body temperature and make it difficult to fall asleep) and fluid intake prior to bed (to minimise need to go to the bathroom).

Consume fluids with evening meal to increase absorption, then taper off;
i.e. individual fluid prescriptions may be necessary following late- night training/competition to ensure rehydration.

Aim for no more than one visit to the bathroom during the night to minimise sleep fragmentation.

Combating Stress
Use a journal to write down worries/thoughts before bed

Write a ‘to do’ list for the next day to help clear the mind

Body Temperature
Lowering core body temperature in the evening to induce drowsiness and sleep:

Skin-warming (for cool environmental conditions) – achieved through warm baths/shower/spa, hot foot baths, warm blankets or dressing gowns, wearing warm socks and woollen boots/slippers

Skin cooling (for warm environmental conditions) –achieved through cool showers, cold water immersion, appropriate use of air conditioning, light bed covers

Keep a Routine
It is critical to maintain a pre- bed routine to prime the body for sleep. This is crucial for proper sleep hygiene.

Allow 1 hour ‘the de-power hour’ to unwind before bed

Maintain a regular bed and waking time each day (entrains our internal body rhythm -circadian rhythm)

Avoid computer screens, texting, bright lights for 1-2 hours before bed (stimulates the eye). Some people may find a dimmer TV screen from a distance helps them relax.

Creating a sleep friendly environment
Keep the TV out of the bedroom.

Keep the bedroom for sleep activities only, and ensure it is quiet, dark and comfortable.

If you cannot sleep within 15 minutes of going to bed, get up again and try a different strategy. Eliminate the bedroom clock (avoids stress of ‘losing valuable sleep time/clock watching’).
Napping
Napping can be a valuable way of increasing total sleep hours. Experimenting with a 90 minute nap mid-afternoon (one full sleep cycle). Recommended for individuals during heavy training prior to competition or who are having short nights.

If insomnia is a problem, do not nap in the day. Otherwise time naps for 8 hours after rising time (2-3pm) and keep these no longer than 30 minutes.

Naps times between 30-90 minutes or longer than 90 minutes may result in temporary sleep inertia and performance impairments.

Napping 10-12 hours after morning waking time will likely disturb nocturnal sleep. Set an alarm to wake at the right time post nap.

How To Recover From Injury Faster

In order to achieve wellness, optimal performance and/or full recovery from injury or illness a combination of movement and exercise, nutrition and hydration, rest and recovery, and thought and stress control are necessary.

Movement and Exercise:

The right type and amount of exercise stimulates the growth and strengthening of injured tissues and is vital to the healing process following an injury.

Nutrition and Hydration:

It is important to eat the right amount and right type of food to ensure that specific nutrients are available for tissue repair. Drinking an adequate amount of water is essential to allow hydration of your joints, allowing your cartilage, discs and nerves to function normally.

Rest and Recovery:

Your body heals when you rest. It is important to get a balance with the right amount of exercise versus the right amount of rest. At nighttime your body undergoes its physical repair between the hours of 11pm and 1am.

Thought and Stress Control:

Excessive stress, extreme emotional responses and negative thought patterns may all interfere with the healing process.

Your physiotherapist is able to discuss all of these components with you giving you advice and information on how you can manage these factors to achieve the best results for your injury.