Dr. M. R. Krishnamurthy is a primary care physician with 42 years of experience. After completing his MBBS, he has worked in the U.K. and Canada.
In this article, let us discuss muscle pain in relation to occupation and, the exercise and activities that can be done to help prevent it.
One of the most common problems is muscle fatigue, and this occurs due to any repetitive movement of a particular muscle or a group of muscles. Prolonged standing in one place can cause leg muscle cramps. It is better to pace up and down than stand in one place, to prevent this. It also pumps the blood back to the heart.
An easy exercise to develop upper limb muscles is to use dumbbells which strengthens muscle groups to prevent fatigue. This exercise used to be part of the curriculum a generation ago, in schools. It is a pity that it has been discontinued in most schools today. It doesn’t cost a lot to get a set of dumbbells weighing 2-3 kilograms, and spend 10 minutes a day.
A major problem with anyone working with a computer for long durations, is shoulder and neck pain. Two exercises prevent this - shrugging and bracing.
Shrugging - One has to stand erect with feet together and shrug both shoulders as much as possible and hold it for 5 seconds (or to a count of 10). Relax and repeat it 20 to 25 times. This exercise strengthens the shoulder muscles.
Bracing - This involves pushing your elbows backwards, with forearms bent at 90 degrees. You should feel the muscles tighten between your shoulder blades. Hold the position for 5 seconds and repeat it 20 to 25 times.
The two exercises take about 5-6 minutes to perform and the results are impressive.
Another exercise which is good for the lower back is a yoga pose known as ‘sethubandasana’, or the bridge pose. It strengthens the muscles of the lower back and helps in maintaining the correct posture. To be able to do this properly, one must first be able to stretch the muscles in the front of the thigh, which can be done by another yoga pose known as ‘vajrasana’. Both are available on many YouTube videos for beginners.
In this age of instant gratification, it is sometimes difficult to get people to understand the wisdom of age-old practices which have prevented and healed many diseases. One such institution is yoga, which, in my opinion, should be made compulsory in all schools. Half an hour spent on this will improve both physical and mental wellbeing and is addictive. It is usually continued for life without any need for coaxing. It does not require any equipment or a special place to practice.
This article was originally published in TheTeacher.in magazine in the month of January, 2019.