According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), an estimated 8,784,000 working days were lost in 2016, due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs). That's an astonishing average of 16.3 working days lost each year for each case. Put another way, no less than 8.8 million working days were lost due to WRMSDs. It doesn't need a maths wiz to work out the impact that can have on business and on the qualify of life of the many suffers
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The ONS states that WRMSDs 'can be sub divided into the more specific and recognised body regions of the back, upper limbs and lower limb disorders.' These ailments are often linked with manual handling injuries, keyboard work and repetitive action, working in awkward or tiring positions, workplace accidents and stress-related issues (such as job demands, control and support).
It's little wonder, with the prevalence of WRMSDs, that business has been booming for massage and beauty therapist, Cleuza Gould of Lirio Therapy. Working in the UK for the past 12 years, having emigrated from Brazil, Cleuza's main bread and butter comes from working with clients who suffer from the ailments aforementioned. "I started massage therapy when I finished studying shiatsu massage in Brazil. I decided to do a massage course in the UK, followed by training in beauty therapy."
"Because it is cold here in the UK and it can be a bit depressing for many people, I wanted to find a way to help cheer them up," says Cleuza.
"I started giving massages to friends, and they told me that I was very good at it. I enjoyed doing it because it made people a lot happier and I could see how many people in the UK needed massage for back pain and joint pain, and help to deal with negativity around them) etc."
"I've helped many people with these issues," says Cleuza. "When some people come to me I try to help them feel better with massage," adds Cleuza who says that although massage is a fantastic alternative therapy, she still advocates clients going to see the GP in serious cases.
With the world of work depending so much on technology usage, it's little wonder that WRMSDs mention keyboard work. Recent research states that even the simple use of mobile phones that we take for granted is having a negative impact on the physical health of many of its users, causing head, neck and and arm pain and numbness. The term that has been coined is "text neck", which refers to the neck strain caused by the posture we adopt when we use our mobile phones, which over time can require an operation because of the stress it causes on the neck.
Dr Kenneth Hansraj, publisher of the said research, told the Guardian that with smartphone users spending two to four hours using mobile phones, it accumulates to “700 to 1,400 hours a year of excess stresses seen about the cervical spine.”
One of Cleuza's clients, Sonia Maia, has been attending regular massage therapy sessions for the past five years, specifically Swedish massage, to help relieve the stress and back pain she has been experiencing because of her work. "It has been a real blessing. I was going through a difficult moment in my life, which resulted into a lot of stress. My body and mind was a mess. In the first session, she managed to discover the main points of stress in my joints and she gave me some advice that was very accurate. When I went home, my body felt much lighter and my mind less confused.
"In the second session, Cleuza noticed that I had a lot of nervous tension and opted to start with stretching. This prepared my body better for her to tackle the main points of stress. The relaxing results again put me in a lighter mood and made me coordinate things better. It improved my perception of the needs of my body, my sense of timing and more organised thinking."
While a massage can be a way to destress and relieve mild symptoms of muscle pain, Cleuza recommends that those suffering from serious health issues should always combine it with medical advice from a general practitioner. This, she says, will ensure that if there are any underlying medical issues, they can be diagnosed and treated accordingly, supplemented, of course, with the alternative therapy she provides.
For more information on how massage can help you reduce text-neck and stress, visit www.relaxingmassagetherapy.co.uk.