Oct 11

Housework and Back Pain; How to Minimise it (that is, the Back Pain)

By Dr. Olivia O’ Leary D.C. BSc Hons

How not to clean the windows…

As boring as it can be you simply can’t get away from day to day housework.  At Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic we commonly see people suffering and aggravated by back pain as a result of repetitive physical activities around the house. This month we thought we’d offer some practical advice on how to get it done with the minimum of physical strain, particularly on our backs.

90% of people will experience some back pain in their life, but it is not the housework that is to blame, it’s the way we perform the housework that’s causing the problem. In most people’s cases, there is usually some prior injury to the spine or pelvis, with the housework just aggravating the problem further.

So lets look at some of the most common household tasks, and some of the suggestions that our team at Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic have put forward to prevent and ease back pain:


When you are hoovering or mopping, most people will reach forward with their dominant arm and bend forward at the waist whilst simultaneously twisting. Doing this action again and again, puts considerable strain on the muscles of the lower back.



To avoid twisting your back, you need to keep your hips and shoulders moving in the direction of the work. It is extremely important to stop bending over, so place one foot forward and bend slightly at the knee, this will allow you to keep your back straight.


Just like the hoovering and mopping, bending repeatedly to do the laundry or fill the dishwasher, puts continuous strain on the muscles and joints of the spine.

You may be wondering how do you then overcome the problem of having to bend forward and pick up those dirty socks from under the bed?


Use a technique called the Golfers Reach. This technique greatly reduces the strain on your back.

For example, when you reach forward with your right hand, balance the action by lifting up your left leg. Make sure you use your other hand to hold onto a work surface to provide support. Remember, if you reach further forward with your hand lift the opposite leg higher.

Always remember if not in the Golfers reach position, you must bend your knees. It sounds obvious but this is where the majority of injuries in the lower back occur from, inappropriate bending technique.

Changing the way you do the housework can help prevent and alleviate acute back pain.

However, still getting back pain……?

Symptoms that are continuing for more than one month indicate a deeper underlying condition. If the condition continues, becomes more constant, or the pain is gradually increasing in severity, don’t ignore the situation.

Call Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic today on 053 94 83338 where one of our expert team will be happy to assist you and get to the root of your problem.

Aug 28

Back to School with Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic


Make Walking To School a Habit!

To coincide with National Walk to School Week and most importantly the return of primary and secondary children to School this week in Ireland the United Chiropractic Association of which Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic are members are encouraging families to improve their health and well-being and introduce more walking into the daily lifestyle of their children.

Back to School with Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic

The Facts

Did you know that the number of children traveling to school by car has doubled over the past 20 years[1] and it is not only harmful to the environment but also to your pocket with the annual average costs for a school run topping €505 [2].

Exercise is an effective and important tool for ensuring the future health of our children. Obesity is now the second largest cause of death[3] and in a recent test carried out on children, it was seen on average that children who walked to and from school used more calories than a 2 hour PE lesson.[4] 9 out of 10 teachers believe that walking to school makes children brighter, more alert and ready for the first class of the day.

Walking is a terrific form of exercise that strengthens your body and helps to position the spine in the natural shape it was designed for – being upright. Regular walking helps to build up core strength and allows you to breathe better and as a result reduces fatigue and minimises other side-effects associated with bad posture.

As Chiropractors we are strongly committed to keeping future generations moving, and are trained professionals who realise the difference that simple, healthy lifestyle modifications such as walking to school or work can have on an individual’s health.

Here are some of our top tips and reasons to make walking to school become a habit!

  • Walking with your child is a great time to spend quality time with them and talk about things you don’t always have time for. It will also give you opportunity to meet other parents and children
  • If your child walks without you then ensure they are familiar with the route and have road safety awareness. (The U.K charity, Living Streets, warns that parents who try to keep their children safe by driving them to school are depriving them of the opportunity to learn road sense, putting them at greater risk when they do start traveling to school independently).
  • Check out if your school has a ‘walking bus’ where groups of children are chaperoned by a few adults on the journey to and from school with pick up and drop off points rather like a bus service.
  • Make sure your child’s backpack is not too heavy, that it is worn on both shoulders and that the weight is distributed evenly as this can cause back ache and postural problems.
  • Ensure your child’s footwear is comfortable and appropriate for walking.
  • If you do live quite far from school why not try and park further away and walk the difference – 10 to 15 minutes exercise can help your child keep in shape and keep extra pounds off.
  • Think of the environment and the money you could be saving as well as avoiding stress from the traffic and parking.

Last year over in the U.K over one million children in over 4000 schools ditched the school run as part of Walk to School Week, let’s make the numbers even greater this year!

Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic News

If you as a parent this September are concerned about your child’s

  • Posture
  • Complaints concerning Low Back or Neck Pain
  • Headaches
  • Spinal Alignment / Curvature of the spine

We offer a special promotional rates of assessment for Children where we can offer appropriate advice and full evaluation of conditions whether big or small to start the school year off in a healthy way.

Call 053 94 83338 for further information and in the meantime ….where feasible

Make Walking to Your School a Healthy habit!


[1]Dept for Road Transport

[2]Figure is based on approved mileage rates from Revenue Commissioners

[3]World Health Organisation 2001

[4]Study by Roger L Mackett of the Centre for Transport Studies, University College London

Jul 16

Neck Pain, Poor Posture and Women: How to Avoid a Hunchback Posture

by Olivia O’ Leary D.C BSc Hons Chiropractic

We have been practicing Chiropractic in Gorey, County Wexford for over seven years now. One of the most common problems we see in clinic are patient’s complaining of neck pain. And what can particularly disturb female patients, apart from the pain itself, is when they also notice the development of what can be known as a hunchback posture.

Over time, poor posture may be caused by habits from everyday activities such as sitting at a desk, looking at the computer, driving, standing for long periods of time, or even sleeping.  As many as 63 percent of all office workers will suffer from neck pain sometime this year, with women at particular risk, according to a recent comprehensive review of neck pain studies.

Poor posture is partly to blame for this: with an ever-increasing dependence on computers the main contributory. Happily, some of the main factors affecting posture and ergonomics are completely within a person’s ability to control and are not difficult to change.

Lets examine this area;

Why Does it Matter if we Have Poor Posture or if the Shoulders Appear Hunched?

To begin with, we all notice it. It does not look good and we feel that our bodies are out of alignment. Something doesn’t seem right. You may not even notice it yourself. Maybe someone else notices your posture or you go to try on a top that doesn’t have a collar and something doesn’t look right…. and you would be correct.

This phenomenon can happen when the spine in the neck has shifted forward. This is termed forward head posture. It can also be known as “military neck” or a “loss of cervical lordosis” or “loss of neck curve”.  This represents a big problem to the spine leading to a variety of different problems including muscular imbalances, muscular weakness and stiffness within the spine itself. This can in the longer term lead to increasingly serious spinal problems.

“Forward Head Posture leads to long term muscle strain, disc herniations, arthritis and pinched nerves.”- Mayo Clinic, Nov 3, 2000

Unfortunately by this stage poor posture can easily have become second nature to us, causing or aggravating episodes of neck pain and interfering with daily living whilst damaging these sensitive spinal structures at the same time.
Hunched back and forward head posture can be the culprit behind the development of many symptoms such as

-neck pain
  • -headaches
  • -stiff neck
  • stiffness and tightness in the upper shoulders
  • pain between the shoulder blades
  • upper back pain

” for every inch of forward head posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 lbs.”
 – Kapandji, Physiology of Joints, Vol 3.

So How Do We Prevent the Development of Problems Like These?

Firstly, having correct posture means keeping each part of the body in alignment with the neighboring parts. Proper posture keeps all parts balanced and supported. With appropriate posture (when standing) it should be possible to draw a straight line from the ear, through the shoulder, hip, knee, and into the middle of the ankle.

For those working in an office environment here’s how to set up a workstation in an ergonomically efficient way to help prevent these types of problem and maintain good posture in a seated environment.

How to Create a Perfect Workstation for Both Mind and Body.

  1. Sit up straight with your shoulder blades pulled back and your chin up.

Position your monitor so that the top of the screen is at or just below eye level. One study found that people who tilt their heads more than 3 percent to view their monitor have a 50 percent greater risk of neck pain.
  3. Move your keyboard so that the distance from the edge of your desktop to the J key is greater than five inches.
  4. Use a chair with armrests, which an international task force on neck pain found decreases the risk of neck discomfort.
  5. Place your keyboard so that, while you’re typing, your forearms are parallel to the floor or tilted slightly upward.

The soles of your feet should rest comfortably on the floor (or a footrest) and your thighs should be roughly parallel to the floor.
  7. Remember to take a break every 20-40 minutes to get up, walk around and stretch out.

Unfortunately if you are already experiencing neck pain and have a forward head posture, making these type of modifications will certainly be helpful but chances are you may need some treatment from a chiropractor or similarly qualified health professional with experience in dealing with these disorders on a daily basis. If when you stand sideways and your ears do not align over your shoulders and if you are suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned it may be time to be checked. Poor posture is  a primary cause of neck pain that unfortunately may be chronic if not managed correctly.

We realise it can be confusing knowing where to choose for your healthcare services. If you, a friend or family member requires care for neck or back  pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward to helping you in the future.

Tel: 053 94 83338 to schedule an initial consultation appointment.

Opening hours Mon 8-7, Tues 9-5, Wed 8-7, Thurs 9-5, Fri 8-7.

Jun 29

Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic shortlisted for Wexford Business Awards 2012

The shortlist for the 2012 Wexford Business Awards was announced by the Wexford Chamber of Commerce on the 25th of May, and Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic were delighted to have been shortlisted for the ‘Best Service Provider Award’.

The Wexford Business Awards, now in their fourth year, is lead by the Wexford Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Wexford County Council, Environmental Protection Agency, Wexford County Enterprise Board and AIB. The awards feature 14 categories plus an overall Business of the Year Award sponsored by Wexford County Council. Each year the awards recognise and celebrate the quality, entrepreneurialism, diversity and talent of businesses throughout County Wexford.

Shortlisted businesses went before before an interview panel on Friday, 1st June. Olivia O’ Leary, Clinic Director represented our clinic before this interview panel. Winners in each of the 14 award categories and the overall winner of Wexford Business of the Year Award will be announced tonight at a black tie Gala Awards Ceremony on in Whites of Wexford.

We at Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic are most certainly looking forward to the Gala Awards Dinner tonight and wish all fellow shortlisted businesses the very best of luck!