What if you could stop the aches and pains AND ease the mental anxiety at the same time? Wouldn’t that be a great gift this Christmas?
Whilst mental health is being addressed more readily these days many other health issues are being overlooked, particularly in the construction industry.
The nature of construction lends itself to a high incidence of injury and reoccurring joint, muscle and pain issues. Labour Force Survey reports that annually there are on average an estimated 46,000 work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the UK. Often an individual’s state of mind is linked to their underlying physical health problems.
Darren Kerr at Posturfit specialises in helping people straighten out their Wonky Bodies.
He says that we all have a long history of suffering broken bones, sprains and strains, operations, car crashes, childbirth, heavy falls and collision, or other lifestyle activities.
You might not be able to record much at this precise moment, but if you start writing down some things on a piece of paper over the next few days you will surprise yourself about how much has happened. Darren believes that we are all somewhat physically “broken” carrying restrictions and imbalances in our bodies. To demonstrate this Darren says try this simple exercise:
- Sit upright in your chair or stand tall with feet shoulder width apart
- Eyes & head facing forward
- Turn your head gently to the left – what does that feel like?
- Eyes & head back to centre
- Now turn your head gently to the right – what does that feel like?
- Compare the left and right head turn. Its different isn’t it?
- Was there tightness, are there sounds, clicks and crunches?
- Are the movements left and right the same?
Not many people reading this will have the same experiences from a simple action like turning their head left and right. These same restrictions and imbalances exist all over our body, in your spine, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles and feet. But why is this so?
Your injury history travels with you into the future. An ankle sprained as a child caused you to modify your walking and whilst it healed you’re still walking as if you’ve got a sprained ankle without realising it. We all know people who have a bit of a limp, lean to one side or only swing one arm when walking. They have just learned to “live with it” and have probably forgotten why.
The Posturefit system helps people identify the imbalances in their bodies. These imbalances are usually what is causing restricted movement, and the aches and pains across their body. One of Darren’s assessment tools can measure this. It is reminiscent of one of those balance boards linked to a games console that you stand on in your living room and play sports on. The initial non-invasive assessment involves standing on the pressure mat in your socks. This clever bit of kit shows the different pressure points across your feet and tells Darren what is going on from the feet up, across your body and what areas needs attention.
Darren says pointing out the problems with people’s balance, symmetry and posture is the easy piece. The clever bit is a teaching the muscles and skeleton to interact properly after a prolonged period of doing it wrong. In an episode from the BBC show, Dr In the House we hear about Ray who is referred to posture specialist Gary Ward because he has tried everything else to no effect. The pressure pad uncovers a complex history of childhood incidents which appears to be the root cause of the pain effecting Ray in adulthood. During a two-hour session, the transformation in Ray’s posture, balance and feeling of wellbeing is startling. Even Ray can’t believe the improvement in his body.
PostureFit offer corporate health and wellbeing services, delivering group workshops to employees in the workplace. The workshops help people like Ray to understand their own restrictions and they are shown how to move and exercise in order to find balance without the pain.
Those responsible for staff wellbeing are given practical advice on how to implement new strategies to reduce pain and restriction of movement. A couple of arm twists at tea break could be just what’s needed to straighten that Wonky Body.