During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people found themselves working from home. While working from home has been a great experience for most people, some realized there are a few drawbacks—especially when dealing with chronic pain. Some of the ways our pain management clinic in St. Augustine, FL, has noticed that the pandemic has increased pain problems include:
Emotionally Drained – Let’s face it; it has been a pretty stressful couple of years. This unrelenting stress has increased mental health problems across the board, which can only further agitate any chronic pain you might be experiencing.
Weight Gain – Studies have shown that the average person gained about two pounds per month during the height of the pandemic. Even small bumps in body weight can significantly increase mechanical forces on parts of the body that can experience chronic pain, including the spine, hips, and knees.
Less Active – How did people gain so much weight during the pandemic? Well, the main issue is that people were far less active. Even simply removing the daily task of walking to your car, driving to work, walking around the office, and driving home has severely reduced the amount of daily activity. Exercise has proven to be one of the best tools when fighting chronic pain, and if you aren’t moving around as much, your issues might become more severe.
Now that we have looked at how the pandemic—and working from home—has negatively impacted us, it is time to look at some of the steps you can take to work through your pain and improve your new lifestyle. Some of these next steps include:
Ease Into It – If you find yourself letting all of your exercise and activity fall to the wayside, it is important to get back into action. But it is also important not to expect your body to be still at the level of performance it was before you stopped working out. Pare back your former exercise program or activity regimen so you can build back up your strength and endurance. This will help minimize the pain flare-ups that could slow your progress.
Ask for Help – Making a change in your life can be difficult, but there are people who can help. Try reaching out to a local pain clinic for guidance on alleviating your pain and making the best of your current work-from-home situation.
Baby Steps – Remember that it was the tortoise that won the race against the hare. While you might think you must rush back into your old life, that isn’t the case. Instead, go slow and steady to build up your mental and physical comfort levels so that you can make it to the finish line and win the race instead of exhausting yourself too early on.