I have treated several paramedics in the past and they commonly complain of the same issues: low back pain, hip/knee pain, shoulder and neck pain & stiffness. This job is definitely hard on the body! I built these clients routines that they could do before and after work, and even during some downtime during thier shift.
Here are 5 ways you can get through your work day pain-free:
1. Stretch: if you have no time to stretch, pick one stretch to do per day. Aim to hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat it 3 times.
2. Heat: If you have a seat heater in your car, use it on your way to work or on your way to doing any sort of physical activity. I recommend using heat for 10-20 minutes, which you can do before or even after your shift.
3. Hydrate: Drink water! Hydration is great for our muscles and prevents cramping. If you don’t want to drink a lot during your shift at least drink more once you get home.
4. Strength: The core and glutes directly impact back health. If the core and glutes are weak, our low back takes a lot more stress then it needs to.
5. Increase your movement: Sitting for long periods? Get up and do something! Set your timer for as short as a minute and walk around, do some leg swings or some body weight squats. Incorporate some movement to get the blood flowing