Mar 07

Minimising back strain this calving season

Minimising back strain this calving season by Olivia O’ Leary D.C BSc Hons Chiropractic

As we progress through calving season, how is your back coping with the strain ?
It’s that time of year in farming when the pace and intensity of the workload has increased rapidly and farmers often faprevent back injury this calving seasonll into the habit of pushing themselves too hard and injuring themselves and only drawing breath when the body is at breaking point or in pain.

As Chiropractors in a rural community dealing and treating  significant numbers of farmers daily, we understand the day to day physical challenges posed by the demands of the farm and the injuries that it can cause particularly at calving time.

Our advice for farmers: Think of the long term and plan for the future. Don’t ignore your back, and when you’re tired don’t take  risks lifting or otherwise, it can be a costly, painful mistake  in the long term. So think of these tips…

Back pain at calving can generally be avoided through good forward planning, using a knowledge of safe lifting and body positioning principles, safe work practices as well as using mechanical aids wherever possible.

Calving related back pain often develops from
• Handling Accidents (getting crushed or knocked down by heifers/cows wary of human contact at calving or just after calving.
• Getting stuck in awkward positions; trying to get a calf out (not leaving enough space behind the cow to get the calf out)
• Long hours and regular night work increases the risk of back pain during this busy time of the year due to fatigue; meaning farmers are more of risk of forgetting to lift properly, take chances hauling things around, falsely believing they’re saving time:-(

• Well designed calving pens and gates minimise the direct physical contact between the cow/heifer and the farmer reducing handling accidents.
• Calving jacks if properly used can reduce the risk of back injury.
• Mechanical lifting aids such as a pulley system in the calving pen is a useful tool to reduce back strain.

The financial costs to the farmer of a back injury are high, do not ignore back pain believing it will go away, if affected, get early evaluation, treatment and appropriate exercises as necessary to help you recover faster, properly and to minimise the chances of getting injured again so as to avoid time lost unable to work through injury.

Offering comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for injuries relating to the back and neck as well as trapped nerves, shoulder, hip, knee and foot joint and muscle problems, Gorey Family Chiropractic also offers clients on site X-ray services, onsite computerised gait scanning, prescription medical insoles and can arrange direct refferal for MRI where medically necessary.

Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic is registered with VHI, Aviva/ Irish Life Health and Laya Healthcare allowing clients to claim reimbursement for treatment if covered by their health Insurance policy.

For advice or further information T 053 94 83338

or check out our website on

Feb 27

How to Lift Correctly to Avoid Injuring Your Back

by Olivia O Leary D.C BSc Hons Chiropractic

One of the most frequent topics we regularly cover with our patient’s  in the treatment room at Gorey Family Chiropractic as well as in the Spinal Health Class is how to lift correctly. Correct lifting technique really is essential in preventing back pain as well as facilitating a recovery from back injuries.

A few simple steps and you will dramatically cut down the chances of hurting your back whilst lifting.

Correct Lifting Technique:

Start in a safe position

Before you lift a heavy object, think through your task. Decide where you’ll place the object and how you’ll get it there. If an object is too heavy to lift safely, find somebody to help you.

To lift an object from the floor, stand as close to the object as possible. Then kneel, resting one knee on the floor. Don’t lift from a standing position with your waist bent or your knees locked.

Maintain the natural curve in your lower back

With one knee resting on the floor, tighten your core muscles — including the muscles in your abdomen, back and pelvis — and lift the object between your legs. Maintain the natural curve in your lower back, and don’t hold your breath. Be careful to hold the object close to your body. Rest the object on your knee as you prepare to stand.

Use your legs
As you stand, maintain the natural curve in your lower back and keep your core muscles tight. Use your leg muscles — not your back — to lift the object.

Let your legs do the work
As you stand, be careful to hold the object close to your body. Maintain the natural curve in your lower back, and keep your core muscles tight. Use your leg muscles — not your back — to lift the object.

Do’s and Don’ts of Safe Lifting

  •  Tuck in the chin to keep the back as straight as possible while lifting.
  •  Lift with the strong leg muscles.
  •  Ask for help with the heavy, awkward items.
  •  When possible, use mechanical equipment to move heavy items.


  •   Use your back muscles to do lifting.
  •   Try to lift an item that is too heavy or awkward.
  •   Twist your body while carrying an object.


Gorey Family Chiropractic Spinal Health Class

If you are one of our existing Client’s, have you been for your complimentary Spinal Health Class at the practice? Filled with information to help you make a faster recovery and maintain your back in good shape  in the longer term it covers everything from lifting postures to exercises to mattresses. If you haven’t been it runs every fortnight at the practice  on a Monday or Wednesday evening after clinic finishes. If you haven’t been you’re missing out!

For your convenience all of our Chiropractic team are registered with VHI, Aviva and Laya Healthcare allowing clients claim reimbursement from a wide range of private healthcare Insurance providers.

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

For further information on the above topic or to make an appointment feel free to contact Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic on 053 94 83338 or email us at