Safe Lifting Techniques

  • Stand close to the load to be lifted.
  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly forward and your head up.
  • Keep your back straight with your feet and body pointing in the same direction.
  • Squat down to the level of the object and test the weight of the load.
  • Use the strength of your leg and arm muscles to smoothly and slowly lift the load.
  • Keep the load close to your body.
  • Turn to face the intended direction of travel, pivot with your feet, and proceed with the load.
  • Avoid twisting your body while carrying the load.
  • Bend your knees and slowly lower the load to its intended place.
  • Do not lift heavy objects above your waist.
  • Avoid heavy lifting immediately after more than 15 minutes of bending or kneeling.

Tips For Healthy Snow Shoveling

  • Warm up: Before beginning any snow shoveling, warm-up for five to ten minutes to get the joints moving and increase blood circulation. To do this march on the spot, climb stairs, or go for a quick walk around the block. Follow this with gentle stretches for the back (knee to chest), arms and shoulders (body hug), and legs (forward bends from a seated position). This will ensure that your body is ready for action.
  • Don’t let the snow pile up: Removing small amounts of snow on a frequent basis is less strenuous in the long run.
  • Pick the right shovel: Use a lightweight, non-stick, push-style shovel.
  • Push, don’t throw: Push the snow to one side and avoid throwing. If you must throw, avoid twisting and turning. Position yourself to throw straight at the snow pile.
  • Bend your knees: Use your knees, leg, and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight.
  • Watch for ice: Course sand, ice salt, ice melter, or kitty litter can help give where you walk and drive more traction, reducing the chance of a slip or fall.
  • Wear proper footwear: Shoes and boots with solid treads on the soles can help to minimize the risk of slips and falls.
  • Take a break: If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest. Make it a habit to rest for a moment or two for every 10 to 15 minutes of shoveling. This is especially important if the snow is wet and heavy. Stop shoveling immediately if you feel chest or back pain.

10 Tips for a Healthy Back

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Follow a healthy diet.
  • Maintain good posture as much as possible.
  • Do an active warm up before activity and stretch after.
  • Don’t overload your backpack or shoulder bag.
  • Stretch your legs and back after each hour of sitting.
  • Never cradle the phone between your neck and shoulder.
  • Sleep on your back or side, not on your stomach.
  • Invest in a good chair, pillow and mattress. It’s worth it!
  • Have regular spinal check-ups.

Warning Signs

  • Leg pain with numbness, tingling, and/or weakness.
  • Back or leg pain with coughing or sneezing.
  • Difficulty standing up after sitting for any period of time.
  • Stiffness in the morning that decreases when you move around.
  • Pain in your hip, buttock, thigh, knee, or foot.
  • Inability to turn or bend to each side equally.
  • Unbalanced posture, when your head, neck, or shoulder may be higher
    on one side than the other.
  • Pain which prevents you from sleeping well.
  • Pain that persists or worsens after 48 hours.

Proper Sleeping Position

Frequently patients from York, Dover, Spring Grove, Dallastown, Red Line, and surrounding York area come to our Chiropractic offices, in York, PA, with questions about how to get a good night’s sleep. The typical American spends about six hours and forty minutes a night sleeping, almost two hours less than ten years ago. Considering that sleeping is almost one quarter of each day, it is important that the time spent be quality time. Not having the correct mattress and pillow, and not sleeping in a proper position can lead to back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, torticollis, headaches, and chronic inflammation.

Although picking a proper mattress is subjective, proper support is probably the most important factor. Chose a mattress that will gently support your body at all points and keep your spine in the same shape as a person with good standing posture. Pay attention to the support it provides for your head, shoulders, hips, and lower back. Generally a medium to semi-firm mattress is best. The softness factor can then be adjusted by selecting a soft mattress pad. Typically, the heavier the person, the firmer the mattress should be.

The two most recommended sleeping positions are on your back or on your side. Sleeping on your back supports the head, neck and spine. It can also help prevent wrinkles and ease acid reflux. A fluffy pillow will keep your neck and head well supported. A pillow under your knees will reduce pressure on your lower back. Sleeping on your side can help keep your spine stretched out and aid in controlling acid reflux. It may also reduce snoring that might be increased when sleeping on your back. Putting a pillow between your legs will decrease pressure on your back. In this position a good pillow for your head is a firm, plump one. Avoid sleeping in a fetal position as this restricts your breathing. Above all do not sleep on your stomach. Such a position stresses your muscles and joints. An excellent slide show of sleeping positions that reduce back pain can be found at www.mayoclinic.com/health/sleeping-positions.

Getting between six and eight hours sleep a night is good for your body. Other tips include:
– Stick to a regular schedule for going to bed and getting up. This helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle.
– Avoid eating right before going to bed. This can make sleeping difficult and it can lead to weight gain.
– Regulate caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. They all affect your sleep.
– Exercise daily. Your body uses sleep time to repair and grow.
– Try to reduce daily stress.

One final note. Chiropractic adjustments reduce stress, muscle spasms, and tension in the spinal joints. Getting adjusted regularly has been proven to aid in getting better sleep.

Have a good night’s sleep!

Types of Stretching-Static versus Kinetic Stretches

Frequently patients from York, Dover, Spring Grove, Dallastown, Red Line, and surrounding York area come to our Chiropractic offices, in York, PA, with questions about stretching. Stretching isn�t only important for athletes to prevent athletic injuries, it is also very important to prevent common everyday injuries. Stretching is vital to increasing flexibility and reducing soft tissue injuries. There are 2 main categories of stretches. Active or kinetic stretches and passive or static stretches. Both types of stretches have benefits, but it�s important to know which type is recommended for your particular needs. Most sports utilize both types of stretching. Flexibility of the joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments can prevent unwanted injuries in all sports and in every day life. Stretching only minutes a day can add enough flexibility to reduce most common injuries, such as: back pain, neck pain, muscle spasms, tendonitis, bursitis, pulled muscles, tension headaches, shoulder and hip pain, torticollis, stiffness, and many more.

Static/Passive Stretches

Static stretches are typically recommended after exercising to relieve stiffness and soreness. Static stretching is also important when rehabilitating an injury. They are also performed on days of inactivity to increase flexibility of the tendons and muscle fibers, as well as increasing flexibility in the joints and ligaments. In performing static stretching, it is recommended to stretch and hold for a 30 count, then relax and stretch another body part for a count of 30. Standing straight leg toe touches are an example of static stretches. A person sitting on the floor with their legs forward and arms reaching out trying to touch their toes is another example of static stretches. Hanging from a pull-up bar for 30 seconds is also considered a form of upper body static stretching. It is typically NOT recommended to static stretch prior to, or during physical exercise.

Kenetic/Active Stretches

Active or kinetic stretches use motion to allow a controlled movement of the body or limbs through a normal and complete range of motion. Kinetic stretches are typically recommended prior to exercise. If performed properly, it can stimulate and add flexibility to the muscles and joints. Most people consider kinetic stretches �warming up� the muscles. Kinetic stretching stimulates multiple body parts during one stretch. This type of stretching moves the ligaments, muscles, and tendons to a point of tautness and then back out of tension, and repeats the motion many times.

It is important to stretch the specific body parts that will be used during an activity prior to the actual exercise. Walking leg lunges is a kinetic stretch recommended for the lower body. It is recommended to perform prior to any activity that uses the lower body or legs. Slow, controlled, and complete motions are recommended to stretch and stimulate the muscle fibers properly. Kinetic stretches allow blood flow to the muscles, and it has been shown to increase athletic performance in explosive activities such as sprinting, jumping, weight lifting, and so on.

Jumping jacks have been used for decades in the military, and they are still one of the best forms of kinetic stretches. It stimulates and stretches both the upper and lower body, while increasing the heart rate to allow increased blood flow to the muscles. It is important to limit the amount of kinetic stretches performed prior to an athletic event because it may cause fatigue if done excessively.

Chiropractic Adjustments Increases Flexibility in the Joints

Chiropractic manipulations releases joint fixations in the spine and other stiff joints. Manipulating (adjusting) mis-aligned bones in the spine (vertebrae) who have been mis-placed by spastic muscles, reduces pressure and increases joint flexibility. Adjusting the joints, that are stuck (fixated), allows the synovial fluid to circulate and nourish the joints. Common symptoms of mis-aligned or fixated joints are: stiffness, soreness, reduced ROM, pain, swelling, spasms and so on.

There are many forms of active and static stretches. Most people understand that it is important to stretch, but they don�t know what stretches to do, or when to them. For more information on stretching, visit our website at www.chiropracticathleticcenter.com and at the top of the home page click on stretching videos, or email us at chirokev@aol.com.