At the end of a long day, just when you are settling down to some bedtime reading, a sense of discomfort radiates at your neck, spreads across your shoulders and reaches the small of your back. The soreness may not be too painful but it does wear the body out.
Stress, exertion and long hours in front of the computer are all responsible for the niggling ache. What’s at the root of it?
“When under duress, the body produces hormones that increase muscle tension. Poor posture, hunching in front of a computer or cradling a phone between the ear and the shoulder can make you more susceptible to such aches.
“When one is mentally and physically worn out, muscles produce spasms and the body suffers discomfort,” explains Dr Altaf Patil of Jaslok Hospital.
Don’t pop pills
If the ache persists, he advises you not to dismiss it casually as it could be a symptom of fever, typhoid, fibromyalgia, viral infection or malaria. “One should go in for a check-up immediately and not pop pain killers, regular consumption of which could damage the system, trigger off kidney failure, heart attack and high blood pressure,” cautions Patil.
He recommends constant movement at work. A relaxing, hot bath at the end of a hard day or soothing music.
Vitamin deficiencies can make the body weak. A healthy meal, complete with fruits, helps. Body stretches in the mornings and the evening are a must.
Physiotherapist Dr M Z Rangwala insists that sitting upright is essential and advocates a correct posture. "A walking programme combined with upper and lower body stretches is a definite yes. A minimum 10-minute workout is essential for every working person, especially those with desk jobs,” says Rangwala.