Proper Lifting To Avoid Back Pain

Proper Lifting to Avoid Back Pain

Spring is officially here! For many of us, there are spring projects that need to complete. Whether you are planting your flower garden or cleaning and organizing your garage, it is important to make sure you are lifting and moving objects correctly, so you don’t injury your back.

Before you do any heavy lifting, we recommend you think through the task at hand. Decide where you are carrying the object to, if and whether or not you will need help to moving the object. Look for a pathway that is clear from debris and clutter. We also recommend you do some stretches before lifting.

Stand in front of the object you are going to be moving. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other foot. Remember to keep a wide base for support.

Slowly squat down and remember to bend at the hips and knees only. Your knees should not move forward beyond the line of your toes.

Don’t forget about your posture! Make sure to look straight ahead while keeping your back straight and your shoulders back.

Lift gradually by stretching your hips and knees. Try to keep the natural curve in your lower back and remember to breathe while lifting. Remember NOT to twist as you lift.

Hold the object you are carrying as close to your body as possible; this decreases the strain on your lower back.

Take small steps and lead with your hips when changing direction. Keep your shoulders aligned with your hips as you move. When setting the object down, remember to squat with the knees and hips only.

Flip Flops


Don’t Let Your Choice of Summer Footwear Slow You Down

Picnics, pool parties, flip-flops and ice cream – for many of us, these are the hallmarks of summer. But you can probably guess which one of them may not be so good for your back. Especially if you already suffer from back problems, wearing flip-flops (or “slides”) may not be the best strategy for avoiding discomfort. But you don’t have to ditch these comfy and convenient shoes altogether.

It’s easy to understand the appeal of flip-flops when the weather turns warm. They’re quick to put on and take off, they let your feet stay cool and comfortable, and they easily withstand getting soaked now and then. But your standard flip-flop offers zero foot and ankle support, provides minimal cushioning, puts you at greater risk of trips and falls, and – most concerning for your lower back – causes you to walk differently than you would in a regular shoe.

Not only do you have to pinch or curl your toes to keep the shoes from flying off while walking, but you also actually shorten your stride for this purpose, which puts unusual strain on your feet, hips and lower back muscles. Your foot contacts the ground differently in flip-flops, too, with more pressure put on the outside edges and less on the heel. This causes a slight rotation of the lower portion of your leg, which in turn changes the angle of your pelvis and prompts increased torsion of the lower spine. Such changes to your body mechanics can cause stiffness and pain in the lumbar region, which may worsen over time. Knowing this, here are some things to keep in mind the next time you slip on that flimsy footwear.

Don’t “live” in your flip-flops.

These shoes do have legitimate uses – for example, they’re great for public locker rooms and showers, and even for that quick trudge to the backyard or to the beach. But with their lack of arch support and thin, floppy rubber soles, they’re NOT made for long walks, any form of quick movement, or continuous use while shopping, visiting a theme park, or going anywhere where you’ll be on your feet for very long.

Take it slow.

Running, jumping, and quick sideways movements are to be avoided while wearing flip flops due to the risk of falls and lack of support and shock absorption they offer.

Healthier alternative: Sport sandals and hybrid “sneaker-sandals.”

The wide variety of “sport sandals” and hybrids on the market may also offer good alternatives to the typical flip-flop. These sandals mimic sneakers in the way that they securely hug your feet with comfortable straps and toe guards, a contoured foot bed, actual arch supports, and heel cups – all of which can provide greater stability and proper alignment of your feet, knees, hips and lower back.


For Better Learning

A high protein breakfast contributes measurably to learning, a Buffalo New York State University study indicates. Children who started the day with high protein foods gained seven months in reading achievement in a four-month period. Children who had mainly sugary foods for breakfast gained only 5.25 months in reading achievement in the same time period.

Myth and Fact

Myth: Pain is the problem.

Fact: Actually, pain is merely a sign. It is a way your body communicates with you. It means a limit has been reached or a change is needed. Pain is not the problem, it is the alarm response. We want to find out the cause of the pain and correct it, getting rid of the pain and the problem.


How many muscles does it take to formulate speech?

To create speech, around a hundred different muscles in the chest, neck, jaw, tongue, and lips must work together. Every word or short phrase that is physically spoken is followed by its own unique arrangement of muscle movements. The information necessary for producing a phrase is saved in the speech area of the brain.


American College of Physicians New Guideline For Back Pain

Clinicians and patients should select non-pharmacologic treatment with superficial heat, massage, acupuncture, and spinal manipulation ( A.K.A. Chiropractic Care). It may be a big change for many doctors, who often turn to medications first for patients who are in pain. The American College of Physicians recommends non-drug therapy first, the organization says in the new guidelines, published in the Annals of Internal medicine.

Drink More Water To Improve Your Health

Most people are in the low range of fluid consumption and are not hydrating properly. Everyone generally drinks at mealtime, but in between meals many people do not drink anything. You need to consistently drink water throughout the day. There are many formulas for how much to drink, but don’t worry about the details just drink! When you get up in the morning one of the first things to do is drink a glass of water. Here are a few reasons to drink more water:

• Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids: Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

• Water Helps Energize Muscles: Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. When muscle cells don’t have adequate fluids, they don’t work as well.

• Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good: Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss.

• Water Helps Your Kidneys: Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate.

• Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function: Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation.


The weather is warming up and many people will spend more time outside working in their yard and gardening. Your body may not be ready for all the bending, twisting, reaching and pulling! Remember you haven’t done those motions in months. It’s not a matter of fitness, but of using muscles differently. It’s very similar to when you change your exercise program. It feels great to be outside, but everyone tends to over do it initially. What you can do comfortably in July is different than what you can do in March. Begin in moderation, take breaks, and make sure you stretch and loosen up. Work into longer periods of time as your body gets used to working in the yard again.

“ You’re never wrong to do the right thing” – Mark Twain


Slouching all day in an office chair? Your posture problems can be corrected. Consult a doctor of chiropractic.

Dr. Benjamin A. Caruso
Fairport Chiropractic


How Does Chiropractic Work For Headaches?

Headaches are one of the most common complaints that we see at our office. Although there are many causes of headaches we have found that many different types of headaches originate from mechanical problems in the neck. Some headaches such as migraine and cluster headaches are related to vascular problems. These often include nausea and/or vomiting and can be quite disabling and require rest in a dark, quiet place sometimes for a half or a whole day. Other headaches can be categorized as "tension" headaches. These usually result from tightness in the muscles in the neck and upper back caused from stress, work, lack of sleep, sinusitis, trauma such as whiplash, and others. Pain can be felt in the upper neck or the back of the head as well as in the frontal, sinus region, top or sides of the head. It can vary from a throbbing pain to an ache to just a constant pain.

What most people don’t realize is that mechanical dysfunction of the vertebrae of the neck will cause increased muscle tension as well as irritate the delicate nerves that control blood flow into the head. Improving the movement or alignment of the bones in the neck can relieve the pressure and irritation that results in headaches. How do we get misalignments or dysfunction in the joints of the neck? This can be due to trauma such as falls or car accidents. Repetitive stress such as hours of work on a computer, poor posture or stress can also take a toll over time. In many patients it is a combination of activities that took place often years before which has led to chronic and recurring headaches. The examination evaluates these issues as well as attempts to rule out other more serious causes, which can occur but are more rare.

A thorough evaluation will be performed so headache patients can be properly managed. Treatment approaches include: adjustments, soft tissue therapy (trigger point stimulation, myofascial work), posture correction exercises and other exercises, education about job modifications, co-management with other health care providers, if medication or injection therapy is needed.