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Copyright © 2021 Natural Medicines (www.naturalmedicines.com)
March 2021

Combatting the Aches and Pains from COVID-19 Quarantine

Activity has been very limited for many of us over the past year – and new aches and pains are developing as a result. Help your patients address the physical side effects of working from home and the sedentary lifestyle many of us have fallen into. While gyms may still be closed for some, other health and wellness modalities can be beneficial options.

Massage is one to consider. Most clinical research shows that massage provides at least temporary relief in people with back pain – something many patients who work from home are battling. And early research shows that massage reduces pain, depression, and anxiety when compared with relaxation techniques in people with chronic pain. If patients aren’t comfortable visiting a massage therapist in their office, many massage therapists are now offering at-home sessions. Hand-held massagers and self-massage with foam rollers or tennis balls might help as well.

Patients might also be interested in chiropractic. Most clinical research shows that chiropractic manipulation and traction can reduce low back pain and improve function in adults. The American College of Physicians (ACP) published guidelines recommending that adults with low back pain try non-drug therapy, such as chiropractic treatment, prior to drug therapy. Most research also shows that it can reduce neck pain and improve function. When used appropriately, chiropractic is likely safe for most people. If your patients are interested in giving it a try, recommend they visit the American Chiropractic Association website to find a practitioner in their area.

Osteopathic manipulation is another option. It’s a specific type of therapy offered by some osteopathic medicine practitioners. Most research shows that it can reduce low back pain and improve function in people with chronic low back pain. It seems to have a stronger effect in people with more severe pain. Patients can find osteopathic physicians in their area who offer osteopathic manipulation through the American Osteopathic Association website.

Before booking any appointments, make sure patients review their health insurance plan - some treatments might be covered with certain practitioners. In addition to these modalities, tell patients who work from home to invest in a good office chair. Sitting all day in an uncomfortable chair will only exacerbate pain. You can also recommend working at a countertop or a standing desk. Remind patients that regular movement such as outdoor walks or runs are great options for relieving both physical and mental stress. And stretching throughout the day will help alleviate tension and tightness - suggest trying short yoga or pilates sequences. Making slight adjustments in routines can be a great way to adopt healthier habits and reduce aches and pains.

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The information in this brief report is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions. Copyright © 2021 Natural Medicines Inc. Commercial distribution or reproduction prohibited. Natural Medicines is the leading provider of high-quality, evidence-based, clinically-relevant information on natural medicine, dietary supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, functional foods, diets, complementary practices, CAM modalities, exercises and medical conditions. Monograph sections include interactions with herbs, drugs, foods and labs, contraindications, depletions, dosing, toxicology, adverse effects, pregnancy and lactation data, synonyms, safety and effectiveness.