Friday, 30 November 2012

Safe Lifting over Christmas-the Chiropractic way!

Christmas dinner anyone?? I love a juicy turkey with all the trimmings but if you’ve got your family coming around for Christmas lunch that turkey ends up being pretty big.

The last thing you want on Christmas day, (when your chiropractor is at home enjoying their own Christmas dinner), is to put your back out lifting the turkey into or out of the oven. So here are some good lifting and bending tips to make sure lifting of that giant turkey doesn’t spoil your dinner!!

The first tip for bending is to bend in a way that is called the ‘hip hinge’ – this pattern of movement ensures that you don’t add extra stresses to your lower back, this is always a good way to bend especially when you are lifting a heavy weight.

Practice doing the hip hinge correctly with a broom or mop, if the pole stays against your head, mid back and bottom as you bend then you have the movement pattern correct, the aim is to bend at the hips and not in your lower back.

 For a deeper bend that wont stress your lower back, when you come back to standing make sure you push up using your thighs and bottom muscles, as this will protect your back.

This is a safe bending technique to use when lifting and to help your body get used to a different movement pattern it is a good idea to practice the movement at other times so that when it is important you are more used to doing it. A squat exercise is a good way to practice this movement pattern, whilst strengthening your thighs and bottom muscles at the same time.

That's the bending sorted, now for the lifting. When you lift a heavy weight you need to fix your shoulder blades back onto your rib cage to ensure you use the big muscles in your back for strength rather than the small muscles at the top of the shoulders, this simple technique should keep you injury free.

For more movement and strengthening exercises visit our Facebook page where we have photos and information about how to do the exercises.

Hazel is a chiropractor at The Octagon Chiropractic Clinic

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