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Bones and joints

Balance your movements today to save your joints for tomorrow

Dr Tony Accardi

Chiropractor and President, Chiropractic Association of Ireland

Tips and lessons on how we carry out everyday activities.

“We all know the basics of saving our back when it comes to lifting heavy items. But I would be remiss if I didn’t speak about it at all. Bend the knees and hips and keep the back straight, keeping your core tight and braced, helps too. Thanks to that technique being drilled into us the reality is now, nine times out of ten people present to chiropractors with back injuries that do not occur that way. Many back injuries seem to occur due to bending over to pick up a tiny item. For example, a piece of paper or putting something in a dishwasher.

Heavy lifting isn’t actually the main culprit for most back injuries, but why is that?

“Usually it is due to something that was done previously. More times than not it is maintaining the same poor postural position. This activity may have been done only once or repeated over the years. It takes time for the damage to the joints to manifest itself enough to cause pain. Did you ever go the movies and sit in the front row and get a neck pain?

Daily activities that are performed one sided are a big culprit, hoovering is a big one. Most people hoover with the same foot forward and their spine slightly twisted pushing the device back and forth. We need to switch the stance frequently. Try putting the hoover tube on the other side of the body, thus hoovering like you are opposite handed. Learn to use your non-dominant hand for everything (especially if your body is slightly twisted). This includes when painting with a brush, drilling a hole, holding a baby or shovelling in the garden. This will preserve the health of your spinal joints, otherwise you are putting undue stress on them like ringing a towel, repeat this activity day in day out and the damage occurs so slowly, you don’t realise it till you bend over one day to tie your lace.

“The World Federation of Chiropractic’s motto for this World Spine Day campaign is “Love Your Spine”, so let’s practice balanced posture when carrying out daily activities, to save our spinal joints.”

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