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Safety At Work

The great thing about Osteopathy is that it’s not just about ridding people of their pain. It is a way of life. Yes, people come to see us to get rid of pain, but once they are in our caring hands, our work doesn’t stop there. We are huge advocates of ‘prevention is better than cure’. So, we will delve deep into your life – your diet, sleep patterns, hobbies, job and more. We look at you and your life as a complete package and will help you work out what areas need adjustments so you can live a long and healthy life (which is as pain-free as possible!).

Work is a big part of most people’s lives and is often a significant contributing factor to their pain. This month we’re giving advice on two key areas to ensure you are looking after yourself at work, so you can avoid injury and keep food on the table. All in the name of ‘National #SafeWorkMonth’! Read on to ensure you are giving yourself the best possible chance of staying injury-free at work.

Lifting posture

We see lots of people coming in for treatment because they have hurt their back, neck or shoulders in a lifting-related incident. Our advice for you…

1. Plan ahead to make sure you have a clear path from A to B for the object you are carrying. Make sure the object is stable and is not going to topple over whilst you are carrying it. 

2. Get close to the object and with your feet hip-width apart, and whilst keeping a straight back, bend at the hips and knees to get low to the ground (key words here – “STRAIGHT BACK”!).

3. Ensure you have a firm grip of the object and whilst keeping your back straight (there it is again!), lift from your hips and knees until you reach an upright position.

4. Always move using your feet rather than twisting or leaning through your back. 

5. Always keep the object close to your bod Never try to hold it out in front of you with your arms, as this places a great deal of stress on your shoulders, neck and back.

6. Always get help from another person(s) if the object is too heavy for you alone. It is NEVER worth the risk of injury by tackling a task that may be slightly beyond your physical capabilities.

Desk Set-up

Postural strain from a seated desk job is another common work-related injury we treat. To ensure you are sitting pretty, our advice to you is…

  1. Ensure the top of the screen is level with or just below the level of your eyes, and centred in front of you. 
  2. Sit with relaxed shoulders, elbows bent at 90 degrees and avoid cocking the wrists back when typing (adjust your desk height to suit this if possible). 
  3. Adjust the tilt of your chair to allow the hips to sit at an open angle of 100-110 degrees.
  4. Adjust the backrest of the chair to ensure you are supported in an upright position whilst seated. 
  5. Avoid slouching back on to your tailbone. Instead, gently roll your pelvis forward to sit on your sitting bones and bring the curve of your low back into its natural position. 
  6. Take regular breaks from sitting. Get up out of your chair every 30-45 minutes to allow your body to move and stretch.
  7. So there you have it. Our skills are much more than just our hands. We’re full of good advice! No matter what job you do, we’ll help you break it down to make sure you are getting the most out of it and not putting yourself at risk of a workplace injury. Here’s to a happy workday, every day!

Perfect Posture Program

If you want to lean more about posture and how to keep yourself mobile and pain free, then we have an educational program that maybe for you. Our Perfect Posture Program has been developed from 25 years of rehabilitation of chronic back pain, and 10 years of measuring balance and analysing posture with computerised posturography. The purpose of the program is to teach you how your postural system works, so that you can use it in any situation, whether you are standing at a meeting, sitting at your desk or putting your child in the back of the car.  This six week program is suitable for anyone who wishes to improve their posture from children aged eight and above, right through to seniors.

 

References

  1. 2019. Reduce the risks associated with manual handling. [Online]. Available from: https://employsure.com.au/blog/reduce-risks-associated-manual-handling/. [Accessed 21 September 2019].
  2. The University of Western Australia. 2016. Computer workstation ergonomics. [Online]. Available from: http://www.safety.uwa.edu.au/topics/physical/ergonomics/workstation. [Accessed 21 September 2019].
  3. Safe Work Australia. 2019. National safe work month. [Online]. Available from: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/national-safe-work-month. [Accessed 21 September 2019].

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Movement

arent or sibling), then we start to get rudimentary use of our upper limbs, then we learn to lift our head and role onto our stomach, and now we can use our arms to push ourselves up and our neck muscles to support our head. Then we start to get stability in our trunk muscles so that we can sit and start to reach out, and then we are crawling, toddling and eventually running.

In other words we go through a sequence of learning where we move with increasing complexity, from simple reflexes to the ability to stabilise ourselves against gravity and then the ability to perform complex volitional activity such as eating or running.

This means that if we need to restore movement, say after an injury or an illness, we need to think in terms of this hierarchy, reflexes - stability - complex movement.

Humans are unique in that we have a complex postural system that enables us to stand upright on two unstable pins, that's why it takes us three years to learn to walk efficiently.  But it is under constant stress and it's ability to perform this task starts to deteriorate as we age unless we take steps to keep it in top condition.

In research published in Queensland:  Falling is not just for older women: support for pre-emptive prevention intervention before 60 (J.C Nitz and N.L Low Choy 2008), the researchers assessed women between the ages of 40 and 80 for the risk of falling. 8% of women in their forties, 14% in their 50s, 25% in their 60s and 40% in their 70s had fallen in the previous 12 months. In addition, the risk of falling increased significantly if the woman had other health problems.

Their conclusions was that for women over 40 years old, the number of illnesses increase the risk of falling and the risks increased still further if they were over 60. Preventative program participation aimed at maintaining good health appears vital to prevent falls.

To put it another way, our stability starts to drop in our 40's.  Falls are a natural consequence of reduced stability but they are not the only consequence. The early consequences are less efficient use of posture which leads to stiffness and back pain. 

So, in order to perform any meaningful activity, we must first be stable. Stability is really the ability to maintain balance while we shift our weight. When it starts to drop it means that we have less ability to generate momentum to move forwards. And if we are unable to generate as much momentum, then our step gets shorter, and if our step gets really short we require a stick to help support ourselves. Thus our ability to move becomes compromised.

So as we get older we get stiffer and less stable, which leads to weight bearing changes. It also leads to restriction in movement.  It's important therefore to not only keep mobile but also work on keeping yourself stable. Exercise that can help this includes dance, yoga and Tai Chi. It is also important to work on your posture. Posture is basically how well you control your relationship to the ground and how efficiently you are able to shift your weight in order to generate momentum.

 

Perfect Posture Program

If you want to lean more about posture and how to keep yourself mobile and pain free, then we have an educational program that maybe for you. Our Perfect Posture Program has been developed from 25 years of rehabilitation of chronic back pain, and 10 years of measuring balance and analysing posture with computerised posturography. The purpose of the program is to teach you how your postural system works, so that you can use it in any situation, whether you are standing at a meeting, sitting at your desk or putting your child in the back of the car.  This six week program is suitable for anyone who wishes to improve their posture from children aged eight and above, right through to seniors.

 

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Beaches Osteopathic Centre Pty Ltd
ABN:  48 105 006 728

21/20 Wellington Street
NARRABEEN NSW 2101
AUSTRALIA
​​​​​​​02 9913 7900

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