Hello! My name is Henriette Hald and welcome to my blog. I am a Chiropractor at Hald Chiropractic Clinic in Leamington Spa. I hope you find the advice, tips and discussions in my blog useful towards living a full and pain free life.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Perfect Posture at Work

Whether at home, work or on the move, more and more of us are spending large parts of the day using a computer. With a growing trend for people to sit and concentrate at the screen for so long, we may not be aware that the position we’re in is harmful to our spines.

Keep these tips in mind at the start of each working week:

On the move:
  • Make time to check your bag/briefcase each day for items that you won’t need, as additional weight in your bag is extra weight that your shoulders and back have to bear.
  • Use a rucksack designed to hold a laptop and carry it on both shoulders. Adjust the straps so that the bag is held close to your back.
  • When using a laptop on the train, try to sit where there is a table. If your using the computer on your lap, limit the time you sit in this way as your head will be unsupported. Certainly avoid using the seat next to you, as you will also be twisting your spine.

At your desk:
  • Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, ensuring there is a slope from your hips to your knees. You should end up with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the top of the computer screen. (Stretching your legs out under the desk is also fine but if you tend to tuck your feet under the chair, make sure you don’t stay in this position for long as this position reduces blood flow to your legs).
  • Relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back and your shoulder blades are touching the back rest of the chair. The front of the seat should not be compressing against/touching the backs of your calves.
  • Arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using. Use a seat with arm rests.
  • Take regular breaks. Never sit at the computer for more than 40 minutes; less if possible. When you take a break, walk around and stretch a little.
  • Remove any obstacles from under your desk to ensure you have enough leg room.

At home:
  •  If using a laptop, invest in a stand or docking station to place it on as this ensures the screen is at eye level. You should also buy a normal keyboard and mouse to plug in, making it much easier to use the laptop in a more ‘back friendly manner’.
  • Invest in the best possible seat you can afford. If you are going to be sitting in it for long periods of time, it is important to get one that provides the most adjustability and support.

If you still experience problems call Hald Chiropractic Clinic on 01926 887 440 or email us reception@hald-chiropractic.co.uk

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Bank Holidays Can Seriously Damage Your Health

With the Bank holidays and Royal Wedding just around the corner, millions of Britons are looking forward to a few days off but we might actually be safer at work!
The top five bank holiday hazards are: Gardening, DIY, Driving, Shopping, Sport/Exercise and wait for it….Lie-ins! It is often the most common and unexpected of bank holiday activities that can cause the most problems. Sleeping in guest beds can lead to back pain, sunbathing for prolonged amounts of time face down can cause neck pain, whilst simply carrying a small child on your back can do damage to your neck and shoulders.

Independent market research showed that during the bank holiday Britons will be:
  •   Driving - over 50% of Britons will probably be driving - a lot will be visiting relatives or going out for the day.
  •  Relaxing - Over a third will take it easy by catching up on sleep, whilst over 40% might plan to relax in front of the TV.
  • Shopping – At least 31% of Britons will hit the shops at some point, but the strain might not just be on the wallet, shopping can cause headaches and joint pain.
  • Gardening and DIY - over 3 in 10 people will start to tackle gardening and DIY jobs.
  • Sport/Exercise - the more active; around 26% of the population, will plan to take part in sport/exercise. Playing Frisbee or flying kites is fun, but extra care should be taken because these activities can cause upper back problems.

All it takes is a bit of care and attention to avoid injury.
Follow these top tips to ensure your bank holiday is safe: 
  • Take regular breaks when driving - stop and stretch your legs at least every two hours.
  •  If you are sleeping in a 'foreign bed' - take your own pillow.
  • When shopping - take bags back to the car on a regular basis.
  • Treat gardening and DIY like any form of exercise - make sure you warm up and warm down afterwards.
  • Drink plenty of water while exercising to avoid dehydration.
  • Pain is a warning sign - do not ignore it!
If you still experience problems call Hald Chiropractic Clinic on 01926 887 440 or email us reception@hald-chiropractic.co.uk

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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Preventing back pain from gardening

Now that spring has arrived and the sun is out, many people take the opportunity to start their gardening. However, despite appearing as gentle exercise, the often overlooked outcome of your successfully sprouting spuds is a painful back. Prolonged stooping and bending can place considerable stress on ligaments and joints in the lower lumbar spine resulting in tenderness and inflammation. Yet, do not despair! Following these simple chiropractic gardening tips can help ensure that your spring gardening is pain free. 

  1. Kneel on one leg rather than bending down repeatedly from the hips.
  2. Try and keep your back hollow when digging, with the legs well spaced apart. Use your legs rather than the back.
  3. Try and vary your tasks for the day into short burst of different activity.
  4. When mowing lawns with a hover mower try to resist the temptation to swing the mower from side to side in an arc. Instead mow forwards and backwards as you would with a conventional cylinder mower.
  5. If you suffer from knee problems and tend to stoop rather than kneel, try using a cushion to kneel on or a gardening stool to sit on.
  6. Keep yourself warm and covered i.e. keep shirts tucked in; this prevents the muscles from becoming chilled.
  7. It is important to warm up before any strenuous activity. Your Chiropractor can supply some simple muscle strengthening and flexibility exercises; however, even walking can provide the simplest form of warm up.

Should any of the above or gardening cause you pain, contact your Chiropractor for advice and treatment. They can advise whether you should apply heat or ice packs to the area or whether you require further treatment. Do not leave it to go away on its own, the earlier the treatment is carried out the better.

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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

First post

Hello! Welcome to my first post on my new blog about chiropractic care. In the future I hope to fill this blog with useful tips and advice that will contribute to living a fuller, healthier life free from pain. I hope that you will find it interesting and informative.