Published: July 16, 2020 | Updated: July 16, 2020

Health and wellbeing experts see injuries and pains from lockdown overuse – and underuse

Paul and Louise O’Connell of Bridge Health and Wellbeing in Christchurch.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Overuse and underuse.

Two common trends health and wellbeing experts Paul and Louise O’Connell are seeing as people emerge from lockdown.

The couple are joint founders of Bridge Health and Wellbeing in Christchurch.

Paul said: “With less time spent at work or commuting, many people have embraced the opportunity to be far more active than usual.

“This is something which, of course, we would never ever discourage.

“However, this has meant that the incidence of overuse injuries has gone up.

“When you suddenly increase your activity level your body needs time to adapt.

“If you repetitively keep doing more and more, you can overload the body causing things like Tendinopathy and stress fractures.”

On the flip side, though, some people have struggled to find time for any exercise with no five-a-side footie to go to after work, or no going to the gym.

As they are doing less activity, less sport and less socialising, they are getting niggles, aches and pains as a result.

Paul said: “Although there isn’t a one size fits all solution, both of these groups can benefit from similar activities, such as having a regular daily routine with a structure to your day or training programme.

“Make incremental increases in activity or load to give your body time to adapt.

“Take regular breaks from sitting at the laptop.

“People working from home still need support and being more productive, not working more hours, should be the priority.” 

As reported on Dorset Biz News, Paul and Louise launched Bridge Health & Wellbeing last July.

To tell a new business that it must effectively shut up shop after just eight months would be a blow in any circumstance.

But to also tell the business owners to go into lockdown for three months was even more of a challenge, to say the least.

However, the couple took stock and worked out what they needed to do to carry on delivering physiotherapy, Pilates and other exercises classes in Dorset.

Like many, Zoom became their best friend and they discovered a whole new way of working.

Four months later, Paul and Louise report the business is starting to feel really positive again and are looking to the future.

The health and wellbeing clinic on Bridge Street reopened in mid-June for physiotherapy appointments.

Sports massage is starting this week and face-to-face Pilates classes can start from July 25 on a 1-2-1 and 2-2-1 basis.

Louise said: “Welcoming patients back through the door for physiotherapy treatment was a major milestone.

“Seeing patients return for sports massage and small group pilates classes will be the next step.

“We continue to follow all the government and Chartered Society of Physiotherapy guidelines, including screening patients and using PPE.

“While we may look a little different, our level of service and focus on wellbeing remains the same.”