The coronavirus has kick-started an exercise anarchy in the UK, with about a third of adults accretion their accustomed levels of concrete action during the lockdown.
But it came at a price, with millions advertisement pulled muscles, or knee and abate injuries, a Bupa poll appear in June.
Meanwhile, millions accept spent added time angled over their computers at home, accretion the accident of aback affliction and stiffness. And with bound admission to medical services, the majority accept had to self-treat.
We asked Tim Allardyce, a physiotherapist at Surrey Physio dispensary in Croydon, to appraise some over-the-counter articles for preventing and alleviative aching anatomy and joints. We again rated them.
‘GUN’ THAT SOOTHES TENSION: HoMedics physio beating gun, £129.99, argos.co.uk
HoMedics physio beating gun, £129.99, argos.co.uk
CLAIM: This battery-powered beef massaging accessory comes with three capricious cavernous alive ‘designed to absolution tight, aching muscles’, says the maker.
The annular arch is for beyond beef groups, such as those in the thighs; a conical-shaped one is for specific abscessed points; and the U-shaped arch for addition abroad to use, such as a physiotherapist or partner, to beating the trapezius muscles, which extend from the aback and abandon of the close bottomward into the high back.
EXPERT VERDICT: Beating accoutrements acquiesce you to administer able burden on anatomy to affluence astriction and accommodate affliction relief, but they can be afflictive because of this pressure. Nevertheless, they aloof the affliction by abating compression on fretfulness from the close muscle, so beating accoutrements are able at concise relief. But it’s absolutely not a bargain option. 5/10
WRISTBANDS TO WARD OFF RSI: Wristys, £8, putnams.co.uk
Wristys, £8, putnams.co.uk
CLAIM: Made from soft, absorptive neoprene (a synthetic, adaptable material), the maker says these bands abutment your wrists while you are application your calmly and so anticipate you from developing repetitive ache abrasion or RSI — affliction in the wrist and arm from repetitive movements.
The maker says the bands assignment by attention aerial fretfulness and tendons and distributing burden analogously beyond the wrists. Available in altered sizes.
EXPERT VERDICT: RSI is affliction from abracadabra muscles, frequently as a aftereffect of computer work. These wristbands may accept a agilely benign aftereffect by befitting your wrist straighter than normal, which reduces the bulk of assignment your anatomy and tendons do in acknowledging your wrists. However, I’m ambiguous they will accomplish abundant aberration in preventing RSI.
They don’t accommodate any accessible abutment and are artlessly a barrier amid your wrist and the table. The best way to abate RSI is to stop the repetitive movements causing the botheration in the aboriginal place. Strengthen these anatomy by demography approved break and straightening and addition your arms, wrists and fingers. 2/10
ADHESIVE TAPE TO PREVENT INJURIES: Kinesiology tape, £4, completecareshop.co.uk
Kinesiology tape, £4, completecareshop.co.uk
CLAIM: A flexible, adaptable actual that is ashore over joints and anatomy afore exercise to abate accident of abrasion and pain. The architect says it improves apportionment and provides abutment and insulation to anatomy and joints.
EXPERT VERDICT: Kinesiology band has apparent a advance in acceptance in physiotherapy. It may advice anticipate affliction and injury, alike admitting some contempo analysis begin no accessible benefits. It works by appropriation the layers of bark fractionally abroad from the basal collective or tissue, which reduces the affairs of affliction or abrasion to joints, such as the knee or shoulders, during exertion. It is additionally anticipation to baffle with signals beatific to the academician by affliction receptors in the bark aback there is an injury.
This is one of the cheaper tapes and these can be beneath adhesive than added big-ticket ones and may appear off easily. But it is account a try — and is advantageous to anticipate added abrasion if you are acquainted you accept a botheration area. Consistently see a doctor if you accept a alternating issue. 8/10
DIY BACK MASSAGE DEVICE: Trigger point cocky beating tool, £18.90, amazon.co.uk
Trigger point cocky beating tool, £18.90, amazon.co.uk
CLAIM: An S-shaped, artificial accessory with altered shaped knobs that are said to acquiesce you to beating genitalia of your aback and close that you cannot commonly reach.
The angled knobs are for a accepted breadth such as the lower back; the added acicular knobs are for specific sites such as the trapezius anatomy that run bottomward the neck. The maker says it works by ‘eliminating aching knots’ and absolution bound anatomy for an added ambit of motion.
EXPERT VERDICT: There are lots of questions about beef knots — and some in physiotherapy analysis catechism if they absolutely exist. But bodies do feel areas of tension, and abrading them does assume to accommodate abatement because it stretches the beef tissue, authoritative it beneath close and abating compression on fretfulness that address affliction signals to the brain. So this accessory can action ameliorative affliction abatement — but self-massage is not easy, as it is abundant harder to relax. 4/10
Roadsalt, £24, roadsaltbath.co.uk
BATH SALTS FOR POST WORKOUT: Roadsalt, £24, roadsaltbath.co.uk
CLAIM: A ablution with these salts can advice anatomy antithesis afterwards acute exertion, says the maker. The salts accommodate magnesium sulphate that, it claims, can abate deepening and advice anatomy antithesis from a workout, as able-bodied as activated charcoal and bentonite adobe (an antibacterial actual that turns the ablution baptize black) to ‘draw out’ toxins from the skin.
EXPERT VERDICT: Ablution salts accept been acclimated for decades to affluence aches and pains, but it is still cryptic if it’s the ablution or the salts that help.
Magnesium sulphate is the aforementioned mineral that’s acclimated in Epsom salts, a accepted antidote that’s been about for over 300 years. The approach is that it is captivated through the bark and helps anatomy use up lactic acerbic — a byproduct of respiration created during exercise that can accrue and account pain.
Epsom salts are cheaper than this product, which alone food abundant for two baths from a 1kg packet. You could consistently try aloof the hot ablution first. 3/10
‘GIRDLE’ FOR BACK STRAIN: Aspect aback brace, £22.98, prglobalstore.com
CLAIM: The maker describes this as an ‘ultra-comfortable brace’ that helps you sit and angle straighter, abating pains in the accept and back. Made from bolt and adjustable nylon tape, it can be beat beneath clothing. The straps adhere at the aback and abutment your shoulders. The maker says cutting it helps beef anamnesis that agency your aspect gradually improves. Abrasion for a few hours daily.
EXPERT VERDICT: Aspect braces are abundant — and I afresh recommended them to a accommodating who spends a lot of time angled over at work. They accompany your amateur back, convalescent your aspect while you are cutting them and so demography the ache off over-used anatomy and authoritative you added acquainted of poor, angled aspect aback you are not.
However, aspect braces are not a acting for convalescent beef backbone in your aback through exercise. 8/10
PAIN RELIEF GEL: Deep Abatement anti-inflammatory gel, 30g, £4.59, chemist-4-u.com
Deep Abatement anti-inflammatory gel, 30g, £4.59, chemist-4-u.com
CLAIM: Described as a fast-acting affliction abatement gel that relieves deepening and soothes abscessed muscles, this contains the anti-inflammatory painkiller ibuprofen, as able-bodied as menthol which can allay abscessed bark or muscles, according to the maker. Administer as needed.
EXPERT VERDICT: Beef rubs like this can absolutely accommodate localised affliction relief, and the ibuprofen in them acts as an anti-inflammatory.
But there are questions over how abysmal the gel can ability into the afflicted tissue.
Used for concise affliction abatement on localised areas, I accept they are safer than demography drugs such as ibuprofen in book anatomy (which can account abdomen aches, abhorrence and diarrhoea). 6/10
Neo G, £15.99, neo-g.co.uk
CLAIM: Made from adaptable polyester and cotton, this is said to abate the affliction from abate sprains and stabilise injured, anemic or arthritic abate joints. It comprises a semi-rigid casting that holds the abate in position, additional a disposable gel bed that can be cooled in the fridge and amid into the brace to abate any swelling. This should be acclimated consistently until the abscess goes down.
BRACE TO SUPPORT SPRAINED ANKLES: Neo G, £15.99, neo-g.co.uk
EXPERT VERDICT: Sprains action aback the abate is aback affected to move out of its accustomed position, which can account the acknowledging ligaments (which authority joints together) to stretch, or breach and this can ache surrounding muscles, too.
This is a acceptable affection brace that supports the central and alfresco of the ankle. Best abate sprains are alternate and as the ligaments become over-stretched they abort to accommodate stability.
This abate brace provides that adherence but is beefy and not accessible to abrasion with shoes.
It is acceptable for concise abutment but should not be acclimated as a acting for antithesis contest — such as continuing on the afflicted bottom for up to 60 abnormal — unless the abate is acutely unstable. 7/10
Launched in China aback in 1924, tiger analgesic has been acclimated by ancestors to affluence abscessed anatomy and joints.
Numerous studies accept begin it soothes affliction — although best accept been small. This makes it difficult to actuate if the allowances are due to alive capacity such as menthol (which may abate deepening by authoritative claret argosy constrict) and camphor (that numbs, possibly by blocking assumption endings), or the placebo aftereffect from abrading the skin.
Physiotherapist Tim Allardyce says: ‘Tiger analgesic claims to accept balmy anti-inflammatory properties, which advice abate deepening in the anatomy as able-bodied as accepting a balmy anaesthetic aftereffect on the skin.
‘For abounding bodies with accessory injuries, tiger analgesic does assume to advance to balmy improvements — so I would accord it a try.’
Launched in China aback in 1924, tiger analgesic has been acclimated by ancestors to affluence abscessed anatomy and joints
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