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Experts say mild discomfort such as recurrent back pains should not be neglected

May it be as simple as back pain, or other kinds of muscle pain, it is very important to seek medical help especially when experiencing any of the red flags stated above to avoid possible worsening of the condition.

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HI-Eisai Pharmaceutical Inc., a research-oriented pharmaceutical company committed to improving the health of all individuals, organized a free-for-all webinar on May 22 titled “Pabalik-balik na Sakit ng Likod at Kalamnan? Huwag Balewalain, Pag-usapan Natin!” wherein medical experts tackled the bits and pieces of acute and chronic pain concerns to increase awareness on the matter, especially under a pandemic lockdown.

Hosted by veteran television host and celebrity mom Suzi Entrata-Abrera, HI-Eisai gathered expert physicians from different fields who shared their professional advice. 

Due to the pandemic lockdown, there is a decrease in mobility in the workforce in the Philippines as most companies shifted to working remotely for more than a year now. Aside from the struggle of finding the balance between work-life boundaries as we take our jobs at home, more people tend to experience muscle pain more usual than ever. 

A decreased movement and an increased sitting time are common instances in a remote working setup. In line with this, HI-Eisai aims to provide guidance for all in accordance to their mission as a pharmaceutical company. Terms and explanations are also discussed in layman’s terms for better understanding of the topic.

To open the discussion, Dr. Godfrey Robeniol, a neurologist tackled the different kinds of muscle pain commonly experienced; muscle pain (muscle ache), muscle spasm (involuntary and excessive contraction of muscle), and muscle cramps (a kind of spasm that is more painful but doesn’t usually last longer than 15 minutes). 

“These acute concerns may grow to a kind of chronic pain when not immediately acted upon or addressed by professionals. Seeking the doctor’s advice through teleconsultation when experiencing acute pain is strongly advised especially when it’s already been three to five days after self-medicating and there is no improvement,” the neurologist said. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Romil Martinez, a rehabilitation medicine specialist, discussed the back pain red flags that indicate immediate attention as it may get worse when neglected. 

The red flags are; (1) history of trauma, (2) urinary retention or loss of bowel control, (3) fever, night sweats, severe fatigue or unintended weight loss, (4) back pain lasting more than three months. 

Weighing in the conversation is Dr. Marcelino Cadag, an orthopedic surgeon, who explained that most concerns can be diagnosed by physical examination to provide immediate action to the complaint. 

“These muscle strains could root from activities like lifting too much weight, developing arthritis, and even slipped discs. The number one cause of lower back pain is muscle strain from sitting too long. We suggest that for every hour of sitting, stand up every five to 10 minutes,” Dr. Cadag said. 

After consultation, when pain relievers and a change in habit didn’t work out to ease or improve the pain, Dr. Martinez suggested undergoing a physical therapy session. “We advise doing home exercises in the morning and before sleeping. It is good to undergo yoga or pilates, and acupunctures,” he said. “It’s definitely going to be a change in lifestyle.” 

Dr. Martinez also explained how taking supplements are helpful especially when aging. 

But when pain could no longer be cured through medication and therapy, surgery is the last option. Any kind of pain, however, is relatively easier to treat when still not severe. 

Moreover, taking a balanced diet and being mindful of weight is also one way to prevent back and muscle pain concerns. This can be done through making exercise a habit and practicing good posture especially when sitting in work. 

The 6 stretches for back pain relief: (1) Back Flexion Stretch, (2) Towel Hamstring stretch, (3) Piriformis muscle stretch, (4) Lateral Flexion Stretch, (5) Chair Hamstring Stretch, and (6) Kneeling Lunge Stretch

The 5 exercises for lower back pain: (1) Plank, (2) Back Arch, (3) Swimming, (4) Bird Dog, (5) Table and Child’s Poses

Having discussed several treatments and pieces of advice to improve the physical health due to lockdown restrictions, the webinar helped reiterate the importance of relaxing the mind and trying to have less stress and worry over the situation.

Hence, with less mobility and more sitting time brought by the work from home setup, it sheds light on the importance of maintaining self-discipline while working remotely. A balanced diet, maintaining proper posture, and stretching out every 5 to 10 minutes can be of big help to prevent multiple types of body pain. 

HI-Eisai, with its mission and vision to provide help for all, encourages immediate medical attention from experts to prevent worsening of various health concerns. When self-medicating, just three to five days of observation is enough –if no improvement is noticed, it is necessary to consult a physician. 

May it be as simple as back pain, or other kinds of muscle pain, it is very important to seek medical help especially when experiencing any of the red flags stated above to avoid possible worsening of the condition.

For more information, the full webinar can be accessed through this link: https://fb.watch/5Ms8VX_5l4/.

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NewsMakers

Men with sensory loss are more likely to be obese

The association between physical activity and obesity was higher in men with hearing loss, who were 2.319 times more likely to be obese than women who reported difficulty hearing. Obesity in those with sight loss was 1.556 times higher in inactive men than women.

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Men who suffer sensory loss, particularly hearing loss, are more likely to be physically inactive and obese than women, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Public Health.

Researchers analysed data from more than 23,000 Spanish adults, and examined associations with physical inactivity and obesity in people with vision and hearing loss, and explored differences between men and women.

Results suggest inactive people with hearing loss were 1.78 times more likely to be obese compared to those who did not have any hearing loss. In people who had difficulty seeing, the odds ratio is slightly smaller, with a likelihood of obesity being 1.375 times higher than those who did not report vision loss.

The association between physical activity and obesity was higher in men with hearing loss, who were 2.319 times more likely to be obese than women who reported difficulty hearing. Obesity in those with sight loss was 1.556 times higher in inactive men than women.

Those with combined seeing and hearing difficulties had the highest prevalence of physical inactivity (44.8%) and obesity (26.1%). Analysis showed a significant association between physical inactivity and obesity in men with vision or hearing loss, but not in women.

Around 62% of adults in Spain are overweight, with 26% reporting as obese. In the UK, the figures are broadly similar at around 64% and 28% respectively, suggesting strong similarities between the countries.

A total of 11.04% of the people surveyed self-reported vision loss, 6.96% reported hearing loss, and 3.93% reported suffering both vision and hearing loss.

Lead author Professor Shahina Pardhan, Director of the Vision and Eye Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University, said: “It is clear from our study that there are significant differences between genders.

“Although women were overall less physically active than men, we found an association between physical inactivity and obesity in men, but not in women. This indicates that, especially in people with vision and hearing losses, exercise and being active has a very important role in preventing obesity for men.

“Adults, especially those with sensory losses, should be encouraged to be as physically active as possible but there are obviously challenges, strongly suggesting that intervention and encouragement would play a very important role.

“An effective strategy to increase the levels of physical activity in this population group would be through targeted intervention programmes based on health awareness on the importance of physical activity.”

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Dad tips we take for granted but go a long way

With all the pressure that comes with responsibilities, dads also need to look after their own wellbeing too.

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There is no one-size-fits all way to being a father, but most working dads want to do the best to support their loved ones. With all the pressure that comes with these responsibilities, dads also need to look after their own wellbeing too. 

Donato Avellana is the Health and Wellbeing Lead for the Vibe Team at Canva Philippines, and as a father himself, he acknowledges the importance of work-life balance. He has helped build programs at Canva that empower employees to have a healthy work-life balance, with holistic programs for all domains of wellness. Taking his learnings from this, he shares some helpful and practical tips to help dads to develop healthy habits that can boost their happiness at work and at home. 

1. Rest and recover well

Rest and relaxation is crucial to improve our overall health. Try your best to get at least 7 hours of sleep, go to bed an hour before you go to sleep, and stay away from your TV or mobile phone, as several studies show that the blue light from screens can disrupt sleep. Sleep is often a neglected component of overall well-being, but this is where the body repairs itself to get ready for another day. Remember that you deserve to rest.

2. Start your day with a cold shower 

Showering can also offer more benefits than many realise.  By using water that is a little cold, you can improve blood circulation, with the lower temperature causing blood to run to the skin’s surface. Good blood circulation plays an important role in our health for proper nutrient distribution throughout our body.

This is also a good time for dads to have their ‘me’ time. Breathing exercises are a great way to start the day, by offering the opportunity to regroup and reflect. 

3. Move more, make it a habit

The health benefits of movement have been scientifically proven time and time again. Your body is connected to your brain and your movement habits can positively impact how you think and feel. Inactivity can make you feel sluggish and tired, making it hard to find motivation and deliver on responsibilities.

Add regular walks, stand often, or follow stretching routines that you can commit to during the day. Taking time for a short 10-15-minute walk is a great way to have a mental and physical break.

4. Eat smart: practice a mindful eating habit. 

We have been educated about what healthy eating is since we were kids. Eating intuitively on a regular schedule is very important. Eating with no structure creates mindless eating that can lead to poor nutrition choices. Think of nourishing your body with healthy fuel for efficient performance instead of just eating. Eat a variety of whole foods, have fruits and vegetables, and hydrate smartly.

5. It’s okay to ask for help

This shortlist might not be easy for everyone, so I encourage dads to seek help when they need it. You might want to start at home with your spouse, ask for help from co-workers, peers, fellow fathers, professionals such as your doctor.

Showing appreciation to your father

If you’re still looking for heart-felt gift ideas for your dad, you can browse through Canva for free design ideas and inspiration. 

Make your dad, grandfather or any other special figure feel loved and appreciated by designing personalized cards. A wide variety of photos, customizable templates, and full-color professional layouts are available. You can also find Filipino templates by changing the language settings to Tagalog and searching for the word ‘tatay’.

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Sun Life Philippines holds ‘Tiny Habits’ workshop

The interactive event carried a fitness theme and was conducted by certified Tiny Habits Coaches TJ Agulto and Claire Limof AHA! Behavorial Design.They shared tips on creating tiny habits in a continuous period of two weeks and also emphasized the importance of celebrating small wins.

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Members of Sun Life Philippines’ Bright Habit Starters community were recently treated to an exclusive workshop on Tiny Habits, the breakthrough method for building habits by world-renowned Behavior Scientist Dr. BJ Fogg.

The interactive event carried a fitness theme and was conducted by certified Tiny Habits Coaches TJ Agulto and Claire Limof AHA! Behavorial Design.They shared tips on creating tiny habits in a continuous period of two weeks and also emphasized the importance of celebrating small wins.

The event was followed by one-on-one coaching sessions to help the participants commit to their habits. This was supervised through the Bright Habits Chatbot, which prompted them to perform daily check-ins for two weeks. This led to the participants achieving 93% success rate in practicing their Bright Tiny Habits.

Following the launch, a second batch of participants is now undergoing the same program, this time with the goal of creating habits to improve their relationships.

The Tiny Habits workshop is just one of the many perks enjoyed by the Bright Habit Starter community. Members are also provided with helpful tips, exclusive promos, and other activities designed to create a sustained behavior change in the present so they can reach their goals in the future. Launched just last March as part of Sun Life’s Ito Ang Araw Mo campaign, the community now has over 3,000 members.

Those interested to be a part of the Bright Habit Starters Community simply have to join via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/itoangarawmo.

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