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The pain of living: Why our bodies hurt so much and 3 steps to a pain-free life

Experiencing body pains since you began working from home? You’re not alone. Read more to find out common causes and what professionals recommend to treat your work-from-home pains.

Did you know: There are many “design flaws” with the human body. Our bodies are functional, but they are not perfect, resulting in many problems over time as we age.

For example, the human body was not designed to walk upright. According to Dr. Bruce Latimer, a respected and accomplished anthropologist at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine,  “Our spines are a mess. It’s a wonder we can even walk.”

If you’ve experienced any sort of bodily pain, know that it’s extremely common. We were not supposed to walk on two legs, or sit all day in chairs or grip onto tiny devices all day swiping left and right with our thumbs. As society and technology evolves, our bodies are desperately trying to keep up.

Working from home creates additional problems for our bodies

Think about your typical work-from-home routine. How much of the day do you spend sitting down? And how much of that time are you gripping onto something in your hand, like a phone or mouse?

Sure, these problems are not new. They’ve been plaguing office workers for the last few decades. But working from home magnifies the problem. Where we were forced to leave the house and commute to the office previously, now it’s just one room to another.

Which is why reports show that 4 in 5 people develop new pains by working from home. The most common being low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and wrist pain. This number increases in younger people between ages 18 to 34. And we have our poorly-designed bodies to thank for that.

So, if pain is inevitable, is there anything you can do about it? And if so, what can you do?

In this article we will go in-depth into the root causes of body pains, risk factors, professional recommendations and self-treatment options to alleviate body pains.

Wrist Pain

Why does your wrist hurt?

The wrist is made up of 8 small bones called the carpal bones and two long bones in your forearm—the radius and the ulna. While wrist pain can be caused by sprains or fractures, it is often caused by repetitive stress. The most common injury is to the bone at the base of the thumb.

Not all wrist pain or tingling is caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. CTS has very specific symptoms, specifically a sharp pain in the thumb, index and middle fingers only. CTS is caused by pressure on the median nerve and tendons in the carpal bones and results in weakness or numbness. Another symptom is that CTS often gets worse at night.

CTS is a specific type of RSI, which is a general term used to refer to pain, aching tenderness, stiffness, numbness or tingling in joints (e.g., elbow, wrist, shoulders).  It is also generally less common, and tends to occur at higher rates in women than men.

Common causes of wrist pain

Most common causes associated with wrist pain are:

  • Repetitive work
  • Sports injury
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Contrary to popular belief, there is also no clinical evidence that work-related factors lead to CTS. It is more likely to be general repetitive strain injury (RSI). Actions like playing the guitar, using a keyboard and mouse or using a smartphone for extended periods can lead to RSI.

If you experience pain in your wrist from working at home, chances are it is a repetitive strain injury and not carpal tunnel syndrome.

What professionals recommend to treat wrist pain

Fortunately, RSI can be easily treated with sufficient rest and by reducing the amount of tension and force when manipulating objects with the hand. For example, it is common for people to grip small objects—such as toothbrushes and pencils—too tightly. Doing this too often can injure your wrists.

Physiotherapists, chiropractors and doctors recommend these three things to manage pain and prevent it from getting worse.

1. Strength and stretching exercises for your wrist

While you’re typing away at your laptop, it’s good practice to stretch your wrist frequently to prevent wrist injury and also to relieve pain.

  • Desk press. While seated at your desk, place your palms under your desk, palms up. Press upwards against the bottom of your desk. You should feel tension in your forearm. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
  • Wrist stretch. Hold your arm in front of you with palms open wide. Turn your palm so that your fingers are reaching towards the ground. Use your other hand to pull your fingertips and thumb down to stretch your palm and wrist. Hold for 5 seconds, then switch hands. Repeat 5 times each side.
  • Moving prayer stretch. Press your hands together in front of your chest with elbows out to the sides. Your wrists should be bent at 90 degrees in front of your lips. Maintain your palms together as you move your hands down towards your belly button. Release your hands and start over. Repeat 10 times.

Take frequent breaks while you’re working and do these stretches while you’re on your break to relieve pain and prevent your wrist pain from getting worse. If you experience sharp pain while doing these stretches; or suffer from inflammation or joint damage, do not do these exercises unless recommended by your doctor.

2. Use a wrist brace at night to support your wrists

Wrist splints are generally helpful to relieve pain especially when you’re sleeping. It may also be helpful to wear it during the day, while you’re doing activities which may trigger pain in your wrist (e.g., using the mouse and keyboard). Keep your wrists moving as you normally would whether you are wearing a wrist brace or not as it will help maintain muscle strength. Avoid excessive stress or tension in your wrist.

Different braces and splints are shaped differently. It can help to try different brands to see if they work for you.

3. Use trigger point release tools or massage tools

Trigger point release tools have recently become popular, specifically the kind for self-use. Most back pain issues are not serious and can be self-treated at home, without needing to visit a physiotherapist or masseuse. Visiting a physio or going for a massage can be time consuming, expensive and inconvenient these days (due to the pandemic).

The only thing is knowing what tools there are out there and what is the best for your needs.

There are three categories of trigger point release tools.

Manual trigger point release tools

These come in many different shapes and sizes, such as foam rollers, lacrosse balls and massage sticks. They require manual exertion of force or using your body weight to “hit the spot” and relieve pain.

The different shapes and sizes are also meant for different body parts and intensities. And you may be required to build your own set of tools to use for different purposes. Trying to use a foam roller for different pains is not the best option.

Manual tools also require a bit of space and know-how in order to use them effectively. Individually, they are the cheapest options but the cost can add up if you are buying multiple tools.

Fully-automatic trigger point release tools

These are gaining popularity in recent years as massage tools become more widely used. They also come in many different variations, such as massage chairs, vibrating neck massagers and massage vests.

They are popular because of their “plug and play” nature. For example, massage chairs are simple to use as you just need to sit down, choose a setting and let it do its work. Owning one can be very costly and the downside is that you cannot carry it around with you.

Another downside of fully-automatic massage tools is that there are fixed settings and you can’t choose where to focus on. For example, if there is a specific spot in your lower back that requires additional focus, there’s no setting to target that area. The massage chair or vest is calibrated specifically to the body of the person they used when they created and tested the product and may not work for you.

Still they are a good solution if you can afford the hefty price and want a general solution.

Hybrid trigger point release tools

In the last couple of years, hybrid tools have gained popularity. Hybrid tools offer the best of both worlds of manual and automated tools. Examples of hybrid tools are massage guns.


Massage guns allow you to target specific pain areas and let the device do its work without requiring you to use extra force. A good massage gun should be strong enough or offer multiple speed settings to cater for different intensity needs.

Hybrid tools also don't require a lot of space to roll around on the ground and use, and can be brought around and used anywhere. They are the favorite choice of many athletes and professional physiotherapists and chiropractors who want the benefit of convenience and precision to deal with different bodies.

Most massage guns also come with multiple replaceable massage heads for different body parts, which means you don’t have to worry about building your “set” of different tools. You get all-in-one with a good massage gun.

How to use a massage gun?

Using a massage gun is simple and gets you the desired pain relief in as short as 2-3 minutes of use per muscle group.

  • Step 1: Select the right massage head. In the case of lower back pain, using the ball head is the most effective and the lower back muscle is bigger.
  • Step 2: Turn it on and start with speed 1. Float the massage around the pain area to get your muscle used to the strength of the massage.
  • Step 3: Gradually increase the speed and lightly press the massage gun into the muscle, if necessary to get a stronger deeper massage.
  • Step 4: Keep it moving around the general area. Don’t hold it in one spot for too long. Use it for 2 minutes then move on to the next pain area. Come back later if necessary.

Benefits of using a massage gun

Massage guns work by providing rapid bursts of pressure into the muscle and surrounding soft tissue. These percussions:

  • Increase blood flow to the area
  • Decrease muscle tightness and tension
  • Provide pain relief
  • Ease stress
  • Release trigger points and knots in the body

If you follow the plan above and do strength and conditioning exercises to strengthen your back, massage guns can help with recovery on top of pain relief in the lower back.

Selecting a good massage gun

But not all massage guns are the same. If you look around you’ll see many different types of massage guns in various shapes and sizes, with all sorts of features and accessories and also wildly varying prices.

So which one should you go for? Building a good massage gun is about balance. Too strong and it’ll get noisy and vibrate harder, making it uncomfortable and stressful to use. Too cheaply built and the motor might burn out quickly or the battery drains quickly.

We came up with a list of key criteria to look out for when choosing the right massage gun.

1. Strength

The strength of the massage gun is no doubt one of the most important things to look out for. What good is a massage gun that doesn’t give you a good strong massage when you’re in pain.

Strength, however, is difficult to measure. It’s a mixture of the motor’s torque (or stall force), max speed, amplitude and power output. Generally, a bigger motor means a stronger motor.

2. Build Quality

Build quality refers to the design, engineering and materials used when building the massage gun. Is it constructed using plastic and fit together loosely? Or is it made of quality materials like aluminium and fit together firmly to prevent rattling noises. Good build quality also means durability. Well-built massage guns are more likely to last longer.

3. Quietness

It might be hard to tell how well a massage gun is engineered just by looking at it. But by seeing how quiet it is, you can tell if it is well-built. Quietness shows a couple of things: that the sound insulation is top-notch, that the components fit together like a glove; and that the motor is of a high quality.

4. Control

Next, a good massage gun gives you enough control over the settings and configurations for your specific needs. These come in the form of speed settings and interchangeable massage heads. On average 5-6 speed settings is good as it means that the difference from one speed to the next is just right.

5. After-sales customer care

Moving away from the device itself, as with purchasing anything online, customer care is very important. Imagine your device breaks down two months in and you have no recourse to replace or repair your device. A good massage gun brand would have a good return policy, warranty and responsive customer service.

6. Price

Last on the list is how fairly priced the massage gun is. Cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better. Neither is expensive. It’s important to consider all the above criteria first, and determine how much you’re willing to pay for a good massage gun that will last you a long time.

One brand that is gaining popularity is the Hydragun. It has the premium specifications of top massage guns without the exorbitant price tag. The Hydragun is built with premium materials and maintains its strength despite being whisper quiet.

To make it easier for you to compare the top massage gun brands, here is a table of the specifications of some of the popular massage guns.

If you are interested in getting a Hydragun today, you can claim a special WFH offer if you purchase a Hydragun today.

Special work from home promotion

Order a Hydragun from their website today to claim this offer:

You don’t have to suffer from wrist pain anymore

While experiencing wrist pain is unavoidable for most people working from home, you can proactively treat it before it becomes worse by trying the tips as shared in this article. If you want wrist pain to be a thing of the past, visit the Hydragun website today to purchase your Hydragun.

Claim WFH Offer Now

Neck Pain

Why does your neck hurt? It’s not what you think

If you google neck pain causes and solutions online, you’re going to find many articles talking about “tech neck” or forward neck syndrome (FHS). Many of these articles theorize that because of the way we use smartphones (by tilting our heads downwards), the weight of our head places unnecessary stress on our neck causing neck pains.

They say that the downward tilt of the head causes a downward force of up to 60 lbs on the neck, and this constant daily motion leads to FHS which leads to neck pain. Now, the thing about FHS is that it’s incredibly common. It occurs in 25% of adolescents, 66% of adults and even up to 86% in specific populations (e.g., dental staff).

However, several credible studies have found no correlation between FHS or tech neck and neck pains. That means that although all that leaning forward causes your upper vertebrae to bend forward, it doesn’t actually lead to pain in itself.

So, if forward head posture or tech neck doesn’t result in neck pain, why does your neck hurt and what can you do about it?

Common causes of neck pain and risk factors

Most common risk factors associated with neck pain are:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Low fruit and vegetable intake
  • Low physical activity
  • Sleep disturbances or poor sleep posture
  • Stress and psychological demands and low job autonomy
  • Mental health

The link between neck pain and mental health

Psychological stress is one of the leading causes of neck pain, believe it or not. That means that unless you experienced an injury, say a pulled muscle or a pinched nerve, your neck pain might be stress-related.

Stress has a physical effect on the muscles in your neck. It causes our neck to tense up which creates neck pain. This neck pain can result in irritability, fatigue and even depression, which adds even more stress in our lives.

The real culprit is our body’s stress response. When our brain experiences chronic stress, it releases cortisol, adrenaline and other hormones to prime our body. Chronic stress  means these hormones don’t get released properly and can cause our body to be in a permanent state of tension.

There is also a clear association between neck pain and mental health. In a survey involving 52,095 subjects, bivariate analysis showed a positive association between mental disorders and neck pain. The mind and body are very closely linked, with our mental state affecting our physical posture and vice versa.

As we move to more work-from-home arrangements, our social interactions may drastically decrease and this social isolation can affect our mental health negatively. It’s important to monitor your mental health and stress levels when discussing issues of neck pain.

What professionals recommend to treat neck pain

As most chronic neck pains are due to stress, most of the time it can be self-treated at home. Physiotherapists, chiropractors and doctors recommend these three things to manage pain and prevent it from getting worse.

1. Conditioning and stretching exercises for your neck

While serious acute neck injuries may require some rest, when it comes to chronic aches or soreness, movement is recommended. If you experience severe neck pain or weakness in hands or arms, stop right away and consult your doctor.

Here are some good neck stretches you can do to relieve neck pain:

  • Neck tilt. From a sitting position, tilt your head downwards as far as you can. Hold for 5 seconds then return to neutral position. Repeat four more times.
  • Sideways neck tilt. From a sitting position, tilt your head sideways so your ear is closer to your shoulder. Hold for 5 seconds then return to neutral position. Do this 5 times for each side.
  • Neck turn. Look straight ahead then turn your head to one side. Keep your chin level. Hold for 5 seconds then return to neutral position. Do this 5 times for each side.
  • Neck stretches. Keep your body straight, then push your chin forward, stretching your throat. Hold for 5 seconds. Then return to a neutral position. From that position, push your chin backward and hold for 5 seconds. Do this forward and backward motion 5 times each.

Another good habit is to practice meditation. Since neck pain could be caused by stress, meditation can help you develop a better stress response and reduce the negative effects of cortisol on your body. It may not sound easy to sit in quietness, but nevertheless it is a good habit to develop.

Meditation strengthens your prefrontal cortex so that we do not get easily overwhelmed under stress. It also helps us return to our baseline state more quickly, as observed in expert meditators.

Simply find a quiet space, close your eyes, take a deep breath and relax. Focus on your breath. As your thoughts begin to distract you, keep pulling your focus back to your breath. Doing this for 10 minutes a day can have incredible benefits to your life.

2. Maintain good sitting, standing and sleeping posture

By opening up your posture, you positively affect your psychological state. A study on posture and stress concluded that adopting an upright posture in the face of stress can increase self-esteem and boost mood compared to a slumped posture. With that said, proper posture is also good for your body overall.

Good sitting posture when working at your desk:

  • Sit with your back straight and shoulders back against the chair. Your buttock should touch the back of your chair
  • Ensure your screen is at eye level so you are not looking downwards for the majority of the time.
  • Distribute your weight evenly on both hips. Avoid sitting on items in your back pocket for extended periods, like a wallet for example
  • Bend your knees at a right angle. Ensure your feet are touching the floor while your knees are at 90 degrees
  • Get up and move around every 30-60 minutes

Good standing posture when doing tasks standing or at a standing desk:

  • Stand with your head up and shoulders straight. Keep your chest forward and balance your weight evenly on both feet.
  • Ensure your screen is at eye level so you are not looking downwards for the majority of the time.
  • Adjust the height of your work desk to a comfortable level where you don’t have to hunch or crouch over. Use your elbows as a gauge. Make sure they are bent 90 degrees at your waist.
  • Avoid standing in one position for more than 30-60 minutes at a time
  • To switch positions, you can elevate one foot on a short stool or small box. After 15 minutes or so, switch to the other foot.

Good sleeping posture for back and side sleepers:

  • If you sleep on your side, ensure your head pillow is high enough to support your neck to maintain a neutral spine position. Use a soft pillow that conforms to your neck. Avoid hard pillows as they can result in increased neck pain.
  • If you sleep on your back, rest your head on your pillow. Pull the sides of your pillow over your shoulders so that your shoulders are under your pillow. This keeps your upper spine in a neutral position and also keeps your head in place.

Good posture is one of the key things to relieve pressure on your neck and reduce pain. Together with reducing stress and meditation, maintaining good posture can reduce frequency of pain into old age. However, in terms of dealing with neck pain during pain episodes, it’s not an immediate solution. Alleviating neck pain requires specific tools that are designed to relieve pain in specific areas.

3. Use trigger point release tools or massage tools

Trigger point release tools have recently become popular, specifically the kind for self-use. Most back pain issues are not serious and can be self-treated at home, without needing to visit a physiotherapist or masseuse. Visiting a physio or going for a massage can be time consuming, expensive and inconvenient these days (due to the pandemic).

The only thing is knowing what tools there are out there and what is the best for your needs.

There are three categories of trigger point release tools.

Manual trigger point release tools

These come in many different shapes and sizes, such as foam rollers, lacrosse balls and massage sticks. They require manual exertion of force or using your body weight to “hit the spot” and relieve pain.

The different shapes and sizes are also meant for different body parts and intensities. And you may be required to build your own set of tools to use for different purposes. Trying to use a foam roller for different pains is not the best option.

Manual tools also require a bit of space and know-how in order to use them effectively. Individually, they are the cheapest options but the cost can add up if you are buying multiple tools.

Fully-automatic trigger point release tools

These are gaining popularity in recent years as massage tools become more widely used. They also come in many different variations, such as massage chairs, vibrating neck massagers and massage vests.

They are popular because of their “plug and play” nature. For example, massage chairs are simple to use as you just need to sit down, choose a setting and let it do its work. Owning one can be very costly and the downside is that you cannot carry it around with you.

Another downside of fully-automatic massage tools is that there are fixed settings and you can’t choose where to focus on. For example, if there is a specific spot in your lower back that requires additional focus, there’s no setting to target that area. The massage chair or vest is calibrated specifically to the body of the person they used when they created and tested the product and may not work for you.

Still they are a good solution if you can afford the hefty price and want a general solution.

Hybrid trigger point release tools

In the last couple of years, hybrid tools have gained popularity. Hybrid tools offer the best of both worlds of manual and automated tools. Examples of hybrid tools are massage guns.


Massage guns allow you to target specific pain areas and let the device do its work without requiring you to use extra force. A good massage gun should be strong enough or offer multiple speed settings to cater for different intensity needs.

Hybrid tools also don't require a lot of space to roll around on the ground and use, and can be brought around and used anywhere. They are the favorite choice of many athletes and professional physiotherapists and chiropractors who want the benefit of convenience and precision to deal with different bodies.

Most massage guns also come with multiple replaceable massage heads for different body parts, which means you don’t have to worry about building your “set” of different tools. You get all-in-one with a good massage gun.

How to use a massage gun?

Using a massage gun is simple and gets you the desired pain relief in as short as 2-3 minutes of use per muscle group.

  • Step 1: Select the right massage head. In the case of lower back pain, using the ball head is the most effective and the lower back muscle is bigger.
  • Step 2: Turn it on and start with speed 1. Float the massage around the pain area to get your muscle used to the strength of the massage.
  • Step 3: Gradually increase the speed and lightly press the massage gun into the muscle, if necessary to get a stronger deeper massage.
  • Step 4: Keep it moving around the general area. Don’t hold it in one spot for too long. Use it for 2 minutes then move on to the next pain area. Come back later if necessary.

Benefits of using a massage gun

Massage guns work by providing rapid bursts of pressure into the muscle and surrounding soft tissue. These percussions:

  • Increase blood flow to the area
  • Decrease muscle tightness and tension
  • Provide pain relief
  • Ease stress
  • Release trigger points and knots in the body

If you follow the plan above and do strength and conditioning exercises to strengthen your back, massage guns can help with recovery on top of pain relief in the lower back.

Selecting a good massage gun

But not all massage guns are the same. If you look around you’ll see many different types of massage guns in various shapes and sizes, with all sorts of features and accessories and also wildly varying prices.

So which one should you go for? Building a good massage gun is about balance. Too strong and it’ll get noisy and vibrate harder, making it uncomfortable and stressful to use. Too cheaply built and the motor might burn out quickly or the battery drains quickly.

We came up with a list of key criteria to look out for when choosing the right massage gun.

1. Strength

The strength of the massage gun is no doubt one of the most important things to look out for. What good is a massage gun that doesn’t give you a good strong massage when you’re in pain.

Strength, however, is difficult to measure. It’s a mixture of the motor’s torque (or stall force), max speed, amplitude and power output. Generally, a bigger motor means a stronger motor.

2. Build Quality

Build quality refers to the design, engineering and materials used when building the massage gun. Is it constructed using plastic and fit together loosely? Or is it made of quality materials like aluminium and fit together firmly to prevent rattling noises. Good build quality also means durability. Well-built massage guns are more likely to last longer.

3. Quietness

It might be hard to tell how well a massage gun is engineered just by looking at it. But by seeing how quiet it is, you can tell if it is well-built. Quietness shows a couple of things: that the sound insulation is top-notch, that the components fit together like a glove; and that the motor is of a high quality.

4. Control

Next, a good massage gun gives you enough control over the settings and configurations for your specific needs. These come in the form of speed settings and interchangeable massage heads. On average 5-6 speed settings is good as it means that the difference from one speed to the next is just right.

5. After-sales customer care

Moving away from the device itself, as with purchasing anything online, customer care is very important. Imagine your device breaks down two months in and you have no recourse to replace or repair your device. A good massage gun brand would have a good return policy, warranty and responsive customer service.

6. Price

Last on the list is how fairly priced the massage gun is. Cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better. Neither is expensive. It’s important to consider all the above criteria first, and determine how much you’re willing to pay for a good massage gun that will last you a long time.

One brand that is gaining popularity is the Hydragun. It has the premium specifications of top massage guns without the exorbitant price tag. The Hydragun is built with premium materials and maintains its strength despite being whisper quiet.

To make it easier for you to compare the top massage gun brands, here is a table of the specifications of some of the popular massage guns.

If you are interested in getting a Hydragun today, you can claim a special WFH offer if you purchase a Hydragun today.

Special work from home promotion

Order a Hydragun from their website today to claim this offer:

You don’t have to suffer from neck pain anymore

While experiencing neck pain is unavoidable for most people working from home, you can proactively treat it before it becomes worse by trying the tips as shared in this article. If you want neck pain to be a thing of the past, visit the Hydragun website today to purchase your Hydragun.

Claim WFH Offer Now

Lower Back Pain

Why does your lower back hurt?

When it comes to back pain, we pretty much only have two choices: walk around on our hands and feet; or accept that pain is unavoidable. As fictional doctor Dr. Bigelow aptly puts in the TV show Louie, nature gave us a clothesline to support our bodies and we are using it as a flagpole.

But why does walking upright cause the back to hurt?

The lower back is made up of five vertebrae in the lumbar region. The vertebrae are larger than others and are made up of solid chunks of bone. Together with the muscles, ligaments and discs, they support all of your upper body weight. That means, the more you weigh, the more stress is placed on the muscles, ligaments and discs.

More than that, our lower vertebrae are curved forward and upper spine curved in the other direction. This allows us to keep our head in balance and walk on two feet, but it also puts incredible amounts of pressure on the lower vertebrae, which is why 80% of adults eventually develop lower back pain.

Lower back pain is a silent killer

And if you have back pain, chances are you can’t point to a specific moment when it happened. It just was there. Lower back pain is mostly progressively developed due to spinal pressure and other factors, such as disk degeneration due to old age, infections or inherited conditions.

That means because the pain might not be as frequent or intense early on, you might brush it off. Eventually, like a frog in boiling water, the pain becomes something you live with until you die. And unless you specifically do something about it, it’s only going to get worse with age.

The effects of lower back pain is more than just the pain itself. It affects mobility, activity and movement. Everything we do is supported by our back: standing, sitting, lying down, carrying heavy objects, walking and running. And even simple actions like picking up a pencil from the ground can be inhibited by lower back pain. All these actions require the muscles, ligaments, bones and tendons in lower back and lower back pain can reduce our quality of life significantly.

You might think that people whose jobs require a lot of carrying heavy loads are more likely to experience lower back pain than other groups, however the research shows otherwise. Workers with sedentary jobs (e.g., office workers) are more prone to lower back problems and disc injury than workers who actively carry heavy things (e.g., construction workers).

Common causes of lower back pain and risk factors

Most common causes of back pain are mechanical, meaning there is a disruption in the way the vertebrae fit together and move. Common examples include:

  • Pulled muscle or tendon. Muscle sprains and strains.
  • Inflammation or arthritis
  • Osteoporosis or age-related bone loss
  • Herniated or ruptured discs
  • Poor posture (sleeping, standing and sitting)
  • Fibromyalgia or abnormalities in the nervous system
  • Age-related degenerative diseases
  • Weight gain and obesity
  • Job-related (sitting for extended periods)
  • Mental health and psychological stress

The link between back pain and mental health

And what’s more, there’s the unseen connection between psychological factors contributing to lower back pain.

In a study involving 200,000 participants across populations, it was found that those who experienced back pain were more than twice as likely to experience one of five mental health conditions – anxiety, depression, psychosis, stress and sleep deprivation, when compared to people without back pain.

Even though back pain is mostly physical and mechanical, mental health conditions can complicate and worsen back pain. And for people who work-from-home, the lines between work and personal life can become blurred, increasing stress levels significantly.

What professionals recommend to treat lower back pain

Despite back pain being one of the most prevalent conditions, most of the time it can be self-treated at home. Physiotherapists, chiropractors and doctors recommend these three things to manage pain and prevent it from getting worse.

1. Strengthen your back and core

While serious acute back injuries may require some rest, complete bed rest is not the solution for back pain. The spine needs to move to heal. By remaining sedentary, your back muscles lose their strength and your pain might worsen.

Instead, do some simple back exercises to strengthen your back and core and manage lower back pain. For beginners, three sets of 20 seconds for each exercise is a good start.

  • Bridges. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet blat on the ground from a comfortable distance from your butt. Lift your hips off the ground, then return to neutral position.
  • Lower back rotational stretches. Lie on your back with bent knees and feet flat on the ground. Keep your shoulders firmly on the floor and arms stretched out in a T-pose. Roll both bent knees to the side at your hips and hold for 10 seconds. Return to neutral position
  • Lying lateral leg lifts. Lie on one side with your legs together. Keep your lower leg slightly bent. Raise your top leg, keeping it straight and extended. Hold for 2 seconds. Repeat for the other side.
  • Supermans. Lie face down on the ground with arms outstretched in front of your body. Raise both your hands and feet about 6 inches off the ground. Keep your head straight while looking to the floor to avoid neck strain.
  • Ab crunches. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Contract your abs and inhate. Then exhale and lift your upper body off the ground, keeping your head and neck relaxed. Inhale and return to the starting position.

Strengthening your core muscles and prevent injury, increase stability and improve mobility and flexibility. These may not totally cure back pain but they are still important to prevent worsening of lower back pain as we lose muscle mass and bone density due to aging.

2. Maintain good sitting, standing and sleeping posture

By opening up your posture, you positively affect your psychological state. A study on posture and stress concluded that adopting an upright posture in the face of stress can increase self-esteem and boost mood compared to a slumped posture. With that said, proper posture is also good for your body overall.

Good sitting posture when working at your desk:

  • Sit with your back straight and shoulders back against the chair. Your buttock should touch the back of your chair
  • Ensure your screen is at eye level so you are not looking downwards for the majority of the time.
  • Distribute your weight evenly on both hips. Avoid sitting on items in your back pocket for extended periods, like a wallet for example
  • Bend your knees at a right angle. Ensure your feet are touching the floor while your knees are at 90 degrees
  • Get up and move around every 30-60 minutes

Good standing posture when doing tasks standing or at a standing desk:

  • Stand with your head up and shoulders straight. Keep your chest forward and balance your weight evenly on both feet.
  • Ensure your screen is at eye level so you are not looking downwards for the majority of the time.
  • Adjust the height of your work desk to a comfortable level where you don’t have to hunch or crouch over. Use your elbows as a gauge. Make sure they are bent 90 degrees at your waist.
  • Avoid standing in one position for more than 30-60 minutes at a time
  • To switch positions, you can elevate one foot on a short stool or small box. After 15 minutes or so, switch to the other foot.

Good sleeping posture for back and side sleepers:

  • If you sleep on your side, ensure your head pillow is high enough to support your neck to maintain a neutral spine position. Use a soft pillow that conforms to your neck. Avoid hard pillows as they can result in increased neck pain.
  • If you sleep on your back, rest your head on your pillow. Pull the sides of your pillow over your shoulders so that your shoulders are under your pillow. This keeps your upper spine in a neutral position and also keeps your head in place.

Good posture is one of the key things to relieve pressure on your neck and reduce pain. Together with reducing stress and meditation, maintaining good posture can reduce frequency of pain into old age. However, in terms of dealing with neck pain during pain episodes, it’s not an immediate solution. Alleviating neck pain requires specific tools that are designed to relieve pain in specific areas.

3. Use trigger point release tools or massage tools

Trigger point release tools have recently become popular, specifically the kind for self-use. Most back pain issues are not serious and can be self-treated at home, without needing to visit a physiotherapist or masseuse. Visiting a physio or going for a massage can be time consuming, expensive and inconvenient these days (due to the pandemic).

The only thing is knowing what tools there are out there and what is the best for your needs.

There are three categories of trigger point release tools.

Manual trigger point release tools

These come in many different shapes and sizes, such as foam rollers, lacrosse balls and massage sticks. They require manual exertion of force or using your body weight to “hit the spot” and relieve pain.

The different shapes and sizes are also meant for different body parts and intensities. And you may be required to build your own set of tools to use for different purposes. Trying to use a foam roller for different pains is not the best option.

Manual tools also require a bit of space and know-how in order to use them effectively. Individually, they are the cheapest options but the cost can add up if you are buying multiple tools.

Fully-automatic trigger point release tools

These are gaining popularity in recent years as massage tools become more widely used. They also come in many different variations, such as massage chairs, vibrating neck massagers and massage vests.

They are popular because of their “plug and play” nature. For example, massage chairs are simple to use as you just need to sit down, choose a setting and let it do its work. Owning one can be very costly and the downside is that you cannot carry it around with you.

Another downside of fully-automatic massage tools is that there are fixed settings and you can’t choose where to focus on. For example, if there is a specific spot in your lower back that requires additional focus, there’s no setting to target that area. The massage chair or vest is calibrated specifically to the body of the person they used when they created and tested the product and may not work for you.

Still they are a good solution if you can afford the hefty price and want a general solution.

Hybrid trigger point release tools

In the last couple of years, hybrid tools have gained popularity. Hybrid tools offer the best of both worlds of manual and automated tools. Examples of hybrid tools are massage guns.


Massage guns allow you to target specific pain areas and let the device do its work without requiring you to use extra force. A good massage gun should be strong enough or offer multiple speed settings to cater for different intensity needs.

Hybrid tools also don't require a lot of space to roll around on the ground and use, and can be brought around and used anywhere. They are the favorite choice of many athletes and professional physiotherapists and chiropractors who want the benefit of convenience and precision to deal with different bodies.

Most massage guns also come with multiple replaceable massage heads for different body parts, which means you don’t have to worry about building your “set” of different tools. You get all-in-one with a good massage gun.

How to use a massage gun?

Using a massage gun is simple and gets you the desired pain relief in as short as 2-3 minutes of use per muscle group.

  • Step 1: Select the right massage head. In the case of lower back pain, using the ball head is the most effective and the lower back muscle is bigger.
  • Step 2: Turn it on and start with speed 1. Float the massage around the pain area to get your muscle used to the strength of the massage.
  • Step 3: Gradually increase the speed and lightly press the massage gun into the muscle, if necessary to get a stronger deeper massage.
  • Step 4: Keep it moving around the general area. Don’t hold it in one spot for too long. Use it for 2 minutes then move on to the next pain area. Come back later if necessary.

Benefits of using a massage gun

Massage guns work by providing rapid bursts of pressure into the muscle and surrounding soft tissue. These percussions:

  • Increase blood flow to the area
  • Decrease muscle tightness and tension
  • Provide pain relief
  • Ease stress
  • Release trigger points and knots in the body

If you follow the plan above and do strength and conditioning exercises to strengthen your back, massage guns can help with recovery on top of pain relief in the lower back.

Selecting a good massage gun

But not all massage guns are the same. If you look around you’ll see many different types of massage guns in various shapes and sizes, with all sorts of features and accessories and also wildly varying prices.

So which one should you go for? Building a good massage gun is about balance. Too strong and it’ll get noisy and vibrate harder, making it uncomfortable and stressful to use. Too cheaply built and the motor might burn out quickly or the battery drains quickly.

We came up with a list of key criteria to look out for when choosing the right massage gun.

1. Strength

The strength of the massage gun is no doubt one of the most important things to look out for. What good is a massage gun that doesn’t give you a good strong massage when you’re in pain.

Strength, however, is difficult to measure. It’s a mixture of the motor’s torque (or stall force), max speed, amplitude and power output. Generally, a bigger motor means a stronger motor.

2. Build Quality

Build quality refers to the design, engineering and materials used when building the massage gun. Is it constructed using plastic and fit together loosely? Or is it made of quality materials like aluminium and fit together firmly to prevent rattling noises. Good build quality also means durability. Well-built massage guns are more likely to last longer.

3. Quietness

It might be hard to tell how well a massage gun is engineered just by looking at it. But by seeing how quiet it is, you can tell if it is well-built. Quietness shows a couple of things: that the sound insulation is top-notch, that the components fit together like a glove; and that the motor is of a high quality.

4. Control

Next, a good massage gun gives you enough control over the settings and configurations for your specific needs. These come in the form of speed settings and interchangeable massage heads. On average 5-6 speed settings is good as it means that the difference from one speed to the next is just right.

5. After-sales customer care

Moving away from the device itself, as with purchasing anything online, customer care is very important. Imagine your device breaks down two months in and you have no recourse to replace or repair your device. A good massage gun brand would have a good return policy, warranty and responsive customer service.

6. Price

Last on the list is how fairly priced the massage gun is. Cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better. Neither is expensive. It’s important to consider all the above criteria first, and determine how much you’re willing to pay for a good massage gun that will last you a long time.

One brand that is gaining popularity is the Hydragun. It has the premium specifications of top massage guns without the exorbitant price tag. The Hydragun is built with premium materials and maintains its strength despite being whisper quiet.

To make it easier for you to compare the top massage gun brands, here is a table of the specifications of some of the popular massage guns.

If you are interested in getting a Hydragun today, you can claim a special WFH offer if you purchase a Hydragun today.

Special work from home promotion

Order a Hydragun from their website today to claim this offer:

You don’t have to suffer from lower back pain anymore

While experiencing lower back pain is unavoidable for most people working from home, you can proactively treat it before it becomes worse by trying the tips as shared in this article. If you want lower back pain to be a thing of the past, visit the Hydragun website today to purchase your Hydragun.

Claim WFH Offer Now

Shoulder Pain

Why does your shoulder hurt?

The shoulder is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body. It’s made up of the upper arm bones (humerus), shoulder blades (scapula) and collar bone (clavicle). It is held in place by a group of four muscles and tendons in the rotator cuff. This covers the humerus and allows movement of the arms.

Because it’s also the most mobile joint in the body, it’s susceptible to injury and pain. Even an action as simple as pulling the covers to make our bed can result in a pulled muscle. Fortunately though, most shoulder problems are not chronic or long-lasting.

Common causes of shoulder pain and risk factors

Most common risk factors associated with shoulder pain are:

  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Tendinitis or bursitis (inflammation of tendon or bursa in the shoulder)
  • Nerve problems
  • Arthritis
  • Dislocation
  • Age-related degenerative diseases

Another common cause of shoulder pain is impingement syndrome, where the rotator cuff muscle gets pinched between two bones, leading to inflammation.

If you experience shoulder pain that interferes with your daily activities, it’s best to consult a doctor immediately. Most of the time they will prescribe medication for the pain and if it’s not that serious, your shoulder should heal relatively quickly.

What professionals recommend to treat long-term shoulder pain

For more serious or chronic conditions, however, they may refer you to a physiotherapist who will recommend exercises you can do to strengthen your shoulders. In most cases, shoulder pain can be treated at home.

Physiotherapists, chiropractors and doctors recommend these three things to manage pain and prevent it from getting worse.

1. Exercises to relieve shoulder pain

While serious acute shoulder injuries may require some rest, when it comes to chronic aches or soreness, movement is recommended. If you experience severe shoulder pain or weakness in hands or arms, stop right away and consult your doctor.

Here are some good shoulder rehabilitation stretches you can do to relieve shoulder pain:

  • Pendulum. Lean over a table and use your non-sore arm to support your body. Dangle your sore arm straight down, then draw circles in the air. Start from drawing small circles to bigger circles. Do this 5 rounds then reverse the direction. Repeat throughout the day as needed
  • Shoulder stretch (arms across chest). Hold your right arm out in front of your body. Then reach your left hand behind your right elbow and pull the arm to the left across the chest. Lower arm until pain lessens. Hold for 30 seconds then release. Repeat 3 times.
  • Neck tilt. From a sitting position, tilt your head downwards as far as you can. Hold for 5 seconds then return to neutral position. Repeat four more times.
  • Sideways neck tilt. From a sitting position, tilt your head sideways so your ear is closer to your shoulder. Hold for 5 seconds then return to neutral position. Do this 5 times for each side.
  • Chest expansion. You will need a resistance band, rope or strap. Hold the item behind your back with both hands. Keep your arms straight. Slowly move your shoulder blades towards each other and lift your chin toward the ceiling. Hold for 15 seconds and breathe deeply. Do this 5 times.

If you experience intense or sharp pain while performing these exercises, consult your doctor or a physiotherapy professional.

2. Maintain good sitting, standing and sleeping posture

By opening up your posture, you positively affect your psychological state. A study on posture and stress concluded that adopting an upright posture in the face of stress can increase self-esteem and boost mood compared to a slumped posture. With that said, proper posture is also good for your body overall.

Good sitting posture when working at your desk:

  • Sit with your back straight and shoulders back against the chair. Your buttock should touch the back of your chair
  • Ensure your screen is at eye level so you are not looking downwards for the majority of the time.
  • Distribute your weight evenly on both hips. Avoid sitting on items in your back pocket for extended periods, like a wallet for example
  • Bend your knees at a right angle. Ensure your feet are touching the floor while your knees are at 90 degrees
  • Get up and move around every 30-60 minutes

Good standing posture when doing tasks standing or at a standing desk:

  • Stand with your head up and shoulders straight. Keep your chest forward and balance your weight evenly on both feet.
  • Ensure your screen is at eye level so you are not looking downwards for the majority of the time.
  • Adjust the height of your work desk to a comfortable level where you don’t have to hunch or crouch over. Use your elbows as a gauge. Make sure they are bent 90 degrees at your waist.
  • Avoid standing in one position for more than 30-60 minutes at a time
  • To switch positions, you can elevate one foot on a short stool or small box. After 15 minutes or so, switch to the other foot.

Good sleeping posture for back and side sleepers:

  • If you sleep on your side, ensure your head pillow is high enough to support your neck to maintain a neutral spine position. Use a soft pillow that conforms to your neck. Avoid hard pillows as they can result in increased neck pain.
  • If you sleep on your back, rest your head on your pillow. Pull the sides of your pillow over your shoulders so that your shoulders are under your pillow. This keeps your upper spine in a neutral position and also keeps your head in place.

Good posture is one of the key things to relieve pressure on your neck and reduce pain. Together with reducing stress and meditation, maintaining good posture can reduce frequency of pain into old age. However, in terms of dealing with neck pain during pain episodes, it’s not an immediate solution. Alleviating neck pain requires specific tools that are designed to relieve pain in specific areas.

3. Use trigger point release tools or massage tools

Trigger point release tools have recently become popular, specifically the kind for self-use. Most back pain issues are not serious and can be self-treated at home, without needing to visit a physiotherapist or masseuse. Visiting a physio or going for a massage can be time consuming, expensive and inconvenient these days (due to the pandemic).

The only thing is knowing what tools there are out there and what is the best for your needs.

There are three categories of trigger point release tools.

Manual trigger point release tools

These come in many different shapes and sizes, such as foam rollers, lacrosse balls and massage sticks. They require manual exertion of force or using your body weight to “hit the spot” and relieve pain.

The different shapes and sizes are also meant for different body parts and intensities. And you may be required to build your own set of tools to use for different purposes. Trying to use a foam roller for different pains is not the best option.

Manual tools also require a bit of space and know-how in order to use them effectively. Individually, they are the cheapest options but the cost can add up if you are buying multiple tools.

Fully-automatic trigger point release tools

These are gaining popularity in recent years as massage tools become more widely used. They also come in many different variations, such as massage chairs, vibrating neck massagers and massage vests.

They are popular because of their “plug and play” nature. For example, massage chairs are simple to use as you just need to sit down, choose a setting and let it do its work. Owning one can be very costly and the downside is that you cannot carry it around with you.

Another downside of fully-automatic massage tools is that there are fixed settings and you can’t choose where to focus on. For example, if there is a specific spot in your lower back that requires additional focus, there’s no setting to target that area. The massage chair or vest is calibrated specifically to the body of the person they used when they created and tested the product and may not work for you.

Still they are a good solution if you can afford the hefty price and want a general solution.

Hybrid trigger point release tools

In the last couple of years, hybrid tools have gained popularity. Hybrid tools offer the best of both worlds of manual and automated tools. Examples of hybrid tools are massage guns.


Massage guns allow you to target specific pain areas and let the device do its work without requiring you to use extra force. A good massage gun should be strong enough or offer multiple speed settings to cater for different intensity needs.

Hybrid tools also don't require a lot of space to roll around on the ground and use, and can be brought around and used anywhere. They are the favorite choice of many athletes and professional physiotherapists and chiropractors who want the benefit of convenience and precision to deal with different bodies.

Most massage guns also come with multiple replaceable massage heads for different body parts, which means you don’t have to worry about building your “set” of different tools. You get all-in-one with a good massage gun.

How to use a massage gun?

Using a massage gun is simple and gets you the desired pain relief in as short as 2-3 minutes of use per muscle group.

  • Step 1: Select the right massage head. In the case of lower back pain, using the ball head is the most effective and the lower back muscle is bigger.
  • Step 2: Turn it on and start with speed 1. Float the massage around the pain area to get your muscle used to the strength of the massage.
  • Step 3: Gradually increase the speed and lightly press the massage gun into the muscle, if necessary to get a stronger deeper massage.
  • Step 4: Keep it moving around the general area. Don’t hold it in one spot for too long. Use it for 2 minutes then move on to the next pain area. Come back later if necessary.

Benefits of using a massage gun

Massage guns work by providing rapid bursts of pressure into the muscle and surrounding soft tissue. These percussions:

  • Increase blood flow to the area
  • Decrease muscle tightness and tension
  • Provide pain relief
  • Ease stress
  • Release trigger points and knots in the body

If you follow the plan above and do strength and conditioning exercises to strengthen your back, massage guns can help with recovery on top of pain relief in the lower back.

Selecting a good massage gun

But not all massage guns are the same. If you look around you’ll see many different types of massage guns in various shapes and sizes, with all sorts of features and accessories and also wildly varying prices.

So which one should you go for? Building a good massage gun is about balance. Too strong and it’ll get noisy and vibrate harder, making it uncomfortable and stressful to use. Too cheaply built and the motor might burn out quickly or the battery drains quickly.

We came up with a list of key criteria to look out for when choosing the right massage gun.

1. Strength

The strength of the massage gun is no doubt one of the most important things to look out for. What good is a massage gun that doesn’t give you a good strong massage when you’re in pain.

Strength, however, is difficult to measure. It’s a mixture of the motor’s torque (or stall force), max speed, amplitude and power output. Generally, a bigger motor means a stronger motor.

2. Build Quality

Build quality refers to the design, engineering and materials used when building the massage gun. Is it constructed using plastic and fit together loosely? Or is it made of quality materials like aluminium and fit together firmly to prevent rattling noises. Good build quality also means durability. Well-built massage guns are more likely to last longer.

3. Quietness

It might be hard to tell how well a massage gun is engineered just by looking at it. But by seeing how quiet it is, you can tell if it is well-built. Quietness shows a couple of things: that the sound insulation is top-notch, that the components fit together like a glove; and that the motor is of a high quality.

4. Control

Next, a good massage gun gives you enough control over the settings and configurations for your specific needs. These come in the form of speed settings and interchangeable massage heads. On average 5-6 speed settings is good as it means that the difference from one speed to the next is just right.

5. After-sales customer care

Moving away from the device itself, as with purchasing anything online, customer care is very important. Imagine your device breaks down two months in and you have no recourse to replace or repair your device. A good massage gun brand would have a good return policy, warranty and responsive customer service.

6. Price

Last on the list is how fairly priced the massage gun is. Cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better. Neither is expensive. It’s important to consider all the above criteria first, and determine how much you’re willing to pay for a good massage gun that will last you a long time.

One brand that is gaining popularity is the Hydragun. It has the premium specifications of top massage guns without the exorbitant price tag. The Hydragun is built with premium materials and maintains its strength despite being whisper quiet.

To make it easier for you to compare the top massage gun brands, here is a table of the specifications of some of the popular massage guns.

If you are interested in getting a Hydragun today, you can claim a special WFH offer if you purchase a Hydragun today.

Special work from home promotion

Order a Hydragun from their website today to claim this offer:

You don’t have to suffer from shoulder pain anymore

While experiencing shoulder pain can happen for some people working from home, you can proactively treat it before it becomes worse by trying the tips as shared in this article. If you want shoulder pain to be a thing of the past, visit the Hydragun website today to purchase your Hydragun.

Claim WFH Offer Now
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