Generally speaking, when you work in Healthcare you want to help people and make them better. But, are you taking care of yourself?
Cardiac-physiologists have to manoeuvre in many awkward positions to get the best images. Unfortunately, it can cause pain and discomfort in the shoulders, the lower back and the wrist.
Keli Glover (my partner), Clinical lead for the Echocardiography Department at InHealth, is the reason why I have written this article. Her occupation caused her to have lower back pains, shoulder pains and RSI in the wrist.
As a loving and caring partner, I wanted to help her and started by purchasing her a wrist support. It made a big difference to Keli, after using it for a little while, and now she wears it for every clinic.
The next step was to alleviate the pain in her shoulder. Keli struggled lifting her arm and the pain disrupted her sleep.
I’m a big fan of joint protection supplements and I have used them for years. It’s the one supplement, when I stop using it, I notice a difference. All my aches and pains start creeping back.
Naturally, I suggested them to Keli. In just a few days, after taking the supplements regularly, she has noticed a significant improvement. A few weeks later, Keli was able to lift her arm pain free.
I would love to tell you that we have resolved Keli’s back issues as well; however, this is not the case. Strengthening and mobilising the lower back requires a little bit more work, time and persistency. Unfortunately, Keli has not managed to include the relevant exercises and stretches in her busy lifestyle. Nonetheless, she intends to tackle this issue and it’s just a matter of time until she resolves it.
I have addressed each key area below and included information about how to prevent and treat the related issues. Contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Enjoy!
A ball and socket joint that has a lot of mobility, it is often injured due to the complexity of the muscles, joints and other soft tissue in the area. For a cardiac-physiologist shoulder pain may be common due to their physical workload that involves pulling or pushing with an outstretched arm, uncomfortable posture and increased neck flexion. This puts excessive stress on muscles such as the trapezius, rhomboids, rotator cuff, deltoids and many more.
Rotator cuff tendinopathy, muscle strains, shoulder stiffness and trapped nerves.
To prevent these types of injuries it is best to use exercises as often as you can to stretch the muscles and allow the joint to move freely. Exercises that are beneficial for the shoulder include; the pendulum exercise, isometric rotations, neck rotations and shoulder range of movement exercises.
For some self help tips it is best to rest from aggravating activities, use ice for inflammatory injuries and heat to help relax the muscles.
Recommended shoulder/neck exercises & stretches
Due to the awkward positions, continuous twisting of the torso and excess load that is applied from continuous standing the lower back is often a prime site of pain and injury.
Trapped nerves, muscular imbalance and extra strain on ligaments. The structures that are often affected include the sciatic nerve, spinous processes, erector spinae and gluteals.
Your lower back supports your body weight, therefore to avoid any extra stress ensure that you don’t stay in one position for a prolonged period of time, ensure the comfort of yourself as well as your patient. When bending ensure that you bend from the knees and aren’t just hinging at the back or hips.
If back pain does occur then rest from aggravating activities, use heat on the lower back and perhaps get a lower back support. Exercises to help with your lower back pain include the lumbar stretch, lumbar flexion and the cat and camel.
Recommended lower-back/core exercises & stretches
Due to the prolonged use of equipment the wrist is in a gripping position for a long period of time. This causes excess stress on the joints, muscles and ligaments of the wrist and can lead to injuries.
Wrist sprains, muscle fatigue, repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel syndrome. The main structures that are involved are the ligaments, carpal bones, the median, radial and ulnar nerve and wrist flexors/extenders.
In order to reduce the likelihood of injury to the wrist you should ensure that you get adequate rest between jobs, stretch your wrist and hands and self massage the area. Perform flexion and extension exercises either freely or against a wall, wrist mobility exercises, active range of movement exercises and grip strength. It is important to improve your grip strength to allow the muscles to get used to the grip position which will decrease the prevalence of fatigue of the muscles.
Use heat or ice to any injuries and ensure you rest from aggravating activities. A wrist strap that involves the thumb may also be beneficial as this will to stop any unnecessary strain to the thumb.
Recommended wrist exercises & stretches
As a Personal Trainer who exercises a lot, I occasionally incur some strains, sprains and injuries. In the past, they have set me back for weeks. Luckily, my partner bought me a Tens Machine a few years ago and I cannot recommend it more. It drastically reduces the recovery period, relieves me of pain and gets me back on my feet in now time.
If you are looking to buy a Tens Machine, I recommend the following product:
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Author & Contributor
Author: Stephan Konrad – Personal Trainer & Managing Director
Contributor: Lily Sivyer BSc (Hons) MSST – Sports Therapist
Hands On Sports Therapy
Havant PO9 1PW
All claims and results are based on the author’s personal experience and that of Keli Glover’s. Results may vary from person to person. Keli Glover’s injuries were diagnosed by a professional. Please seek medical advice from a GP and for a diagnosis before undertaking any treatments and taking any supplements.