Pandemic a pain in the neck — and the back — for many Manitobans

While everyone has been struggling in one way or another due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some Manitobans are feeling the pain — literally.

According to the Manitoba Chiropractors Association (MCA), more people are complaining of back and neck pain in recent weeks, because the fall has forced some of them to get active after a few months of work-from-home isolation.

“They’re cleaning up their yards, they’re putting away the stuff they had for the summer,” association president Steven Gall told 680 CJOB.

“They’re lifting, they’re pulling, they’re twisting, they’re bending, and they’re spending a lot of time doing things that they haven’t done.

“They’re also spending a lot of time doing things now that because they’ve been sitting around and experiencing these stresses of their posture, they’re starting to push their bodies to states they’re not used to. ”

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Gall said many people are coming in for treatment because the chair they’re using in their home office may not be suited for an eight-hour workday.

“When we see people who, from a postural perspective, are sitting in those non-ergonomic desks and chairs, hunched over their computers — unlike they would be sitting at a desktop working on those laptops — the lack of mobility is starting to create more and more issues for people.

“As they do that, this is now bringing to the surface a lot of underlying issues for people,” he said.

Read more: Long-term work-from-home setups can mean back, neck pain, ergonomics expert says

Winnipeg physiotherapist Leah Bima of EastCity Physiotherapy told 680 CJOB her practice has seen steady numbers of back and neck pain patients since the spring.

“I would say that first out of the gate when the clinics reopened after the shutdown that took place in March and April, we were certainly inundated,” she said.

“In all of my 15 years of practice, I’ve never noticed such a sharp increase in things like neck and upper back tension and shoulder pain.”

Bima said one of the most striking differences this year is the lack of athletic injuries, as most organized sports leagues have been cancelled or postponed — but those numbers are being replaced by people injuring themselves at home.

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“People (are) being excessively active in their own homes, doing home renovations and landscaping projects, and lots of lifting and painting and moving things around that they hadn’t planned for or gotten in shape for,” she said.

“Those people were presenting with activity-related injuries that aren’t typical for them.”

Click to play video 'Manitoba chiropractors able to resume full services' Manitoba chiropractors able to resume full services

Manitoba chiropractors able to resume full services

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