A NORTH-EAST physiotherapist has encouraged people to stay active throughout the Coronavirus pandemic as we approach a year since the United Kingdom first went into lockdown.

With millions of us working from home almost constantly since March 2020, physiotherapists from Nuffield Health Newcastle Hospital have raised concerns that there could be a rise in chronic joint pain and other musculoskeletal problems.

Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions account for 30 per cent of all GP consultations in England, with chronic joint pain affecting more than 8.75 million people in the UK. The introduction of three national lockdowns and home working has resulted in many being far less active now than they previously were.

For those who are diagnosed with Covid-19 and those recovering from the virus, the risk of developing or worsening existing MSK conditions is higher.

Andrew Swinburne, physiotherapist at Nuffield Health Newcastle Hospital, said: “When you are under the weather with any form of virus, it can be incredibly difficult to get up and move around.

“Covid-19 causes breathing difficulties and loss of energy, which can further decrease the desire to move. By practising breathing exercises and becoming aware of your posture and position when sitting, you can help ease those uncomfortable feelings.

“We’re in March now, which will mean that many across the UK have worked from home for a year. Many may not have access to properly adjusted equipment and supportive furniture, which could be further worsening MSK conditions.

“We’d advise that those working from home to stay aware of how long they’re seated each day and/or how long they’re inactive. Try to get up at least once each hour to move around and stretch.”

Nuffield Health Newcastle Hospital’s dedicated physiotherapy team is available to help with a range of conditions, pains and injuries. The team offers treatments tailored to each individual’s needs and work toward rehabilitation.

Nuffield Health Newcastle Hospital is open to both new and current patients. Initial consultations will be held online.

For more information visit https://www.nuffieldhealth.com/physiotherapy/newcastle