Health & Fitness

Regular medical check-up keeps the doctor away

Don’t wait until that  pain is unbearable  before you go for medical  attention. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Don’t wait until that pain is unbearable before you go for medical attention. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

He walked into the clinic for a Physiotherapy session; I looked at him and thought he must be so sick.

He was given a form to fill in his details and what complaint had brought him. After that, the form was handed to me. I was curious to find out what he was suffering from so I went to the complaints first and ran my eyes through it. Just like I thought, he had a number of them; from low back pain, knee pain, hip pain and some discomfort on the foot.

After that I decided to now check his age, to my surprise he is only 37 years old! I went to the front where he was standing to be picked anxiously, not to mention he was an hour late for his appointment. He appeared to me like someone who was 45-50 years old. I composed myself not to show my surprise. I got him in the treatment room and examined him and for sure he was in pain.

I asked, “What got you here?” He said, “I don’t know. My life is a mess. That’s why am here.” He added that he is so busy at work, running two jobs at the moment. He has to leave his house so early and gets back late. He used to exercise but cannot do anymore due to lack of time.

I stood there for a moment not sure what to say. Then just the way thoughts cross your mind, I was like, how many more are like him in our generation today? How many more are suffering just like him?

How many more are desperate? How many more have no clue what to do with their lives? When we say that some diseases run in our family and we inherit them, are we actually inheriting them or is it that we have replaced our lives with ‘important’ things but clearly not very important.

We have made resolutions over and over again to start that walk or jog, to eat healthy, to strain ourselves less…..the list is endless. When is the last time if ever you did that Annual medical checkup for us?

Until when do we keep suffering and thinking that it is okay, that pain will go?

Is it that it runs in your family or is it that nobody in your family runs?

We may have made resolutions to do things differently this year. For example, do that annual medical checkup. Do you know that you could also have a checkup for your spine? There is a spine scan machine that can help identify areas of both nervous and muscular tensions before you start having any pain.

For your body to sense that it is in pain, your nerve is under pressure about 60 per cent but the scan machine picks up any tension from as low as 10 per cent. This means you can identify any form of tension starting to form even before you feel pain and have it taken care of.

We are a sitting generation, from most of us working on the computers and owning phones that make us just sit for hours either working or socialising and we never realize how long we have been sitting.

Sitting is the posture that puts our spine especially the lower part of the spine (Lumbar Spine) under a lot of pressure more than standing or even walking. This is because when standing the body weight is distributed through the body: spine, pelvis, hips, knees and ankles compared to when sitting where the weight is bore on the lower part of the spine more.

In recognition of this, we have to be aware of our posture when we sit. This also means that if you know your job involves you sitting a lot, it is important to have a comfortable chair and table that do not strain you more. This can be achieved by having an ergonomic assessment of your workstation and get to know if your posture is right.

It is also important to take short breaks from sitting every one and half hours. This helps to relieve the pressure from building on the lower back.

Taking a lot of water will help you in taking breaks to the washroom, this also helps to hydrate your muscles hence prevent muscular tension building up which can be a source of pain.

We are all working human beings and we are meant to be that way. With time we accumulate muscular tension from stress of life, posture and long sitting hours both at work and in traffic. It is good to get a body massage (deep tissue massage) once in a while that helps to relieve that muscular tension.

This keeps you from accumulating fatigue, muscular aches and makes you more energetic to carry on your day to day life with more ease. Doing this could also help relieve tension headaches associated with muscle tightness especially around the neck and upper back.