Case study – Jacques

I would like to invite you to imagine the scenario of Jacques and to understand the life of Jacques who suffers from neck tension and lower back pain…

Jacques spends 10-12 hours a day seated (in front of the computer/during meetings/in transport/an evening at a friend’s for dinner or at his home).
Jacques is 45 years old, goes to the fitness centre twice a week, and since he is often pressed for time and does not know the importance of a warm up and cool down, he rushes through the same in one and a half minutes every time he visits the gym. He loves to run on weekends and takes part in marathons a couple of times a year. He always skips his mobilizations and stretches before and after.

He suffers daily of neck tension and lower back pain which comes and goes. He is also stressed at his work place due to difficulties related to communication with his subordinates. On a personal level, his wife is unhappy since he spends a lot of time at work and thus their intimate life suffers.

However, he drinks enough water daily and has good food habits.
The neck tension and lower back pain worsens and he decides to see a specialist.

TREATMENT for Jacques

The conventional method of treatment would be to give Jacques exercises and ask him to come back only if he has pain.

HOWEVER, CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT WILL NOT WORK WITH Jacques in the long term, since he needs to look at other factors too along with his exercises.

Mehernaaz recommends an all-round approach to treat him…

For his physical pain (neck and lower back)
  • Neck tension might be due to stress at work combined with poor posture while at his desk. Thus he needs to correct his posture with a corrective exercise program tailor-made for him.
  • Lower back pain might be due to stress in his personal life, poor posture and/or insufficient warm up and cool down. Here, he needs again a tailor-made exercise program to strengthen his weak muscles and stretch his tight muscles, which will include a correct warmup and cool down tailored for his muscles.
  • Incorrect or insufficient warmup and cool down contributes to pain.
  • His workstation needs to be checked and/or he needs to learn how to sit correctly.
  • Besides sitting, how he stands, walks, picks up, pushes or pulls objects needs to be taught.
For his stress at work and home
  • He might at first try with the advice of positive friends to learn how to find solutions related to improving communication with subordinates. If that does not work, he may consult a coach to help him. This will not only reduce mental stress and worry but also reduce neck tension arising out of a mentally disturbing situation.
  • He might find solutions on his own or through positive friends to reschedule his day at work, in order to have some time with his wife. This will bring back joy into their relationship and hence will also contribute in reducing lower back pain which is an effect of stress.
  • Hatha Yoga can help him to destress as well as reduce pain and improve posture. He could therefore adjust his gym days to include some Yoga.


Suppression of lower back pain and improved productivity

In brief, providing and teaching Jacques a tailor-made exercise routine after conducting certain tests will bring balance to his muscles and joints and reduce pain. Educating him on his work station and lifestyle modifications will also be a part of correcting issues. Redirecting him to positive friends, positive thoughts or a coach for advice on his mental stress, combined with Hatha Yoga, will bring him long lasting results.

The duration of his exercise program and frequency as well as implementation of the above steps, will be done keeping in mind the time, motivation, needs and goals of Jacques. The steps can be implemented one after the other to not overload his already busy schedule.