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

Mar 13

Plant & Rake Without the Ache

Here’s how to take care of your back whilst gardening.

Gardening can be very rewarding, but with all the digging, lifting, reaching and bending, taking care of your back now will help to keep you enjoying the fruits of your labour for many years to come! Back or muscle pain that lasts longer than 48 hours is your body‘s way of saying it needs help.
Chiropractors are trained to detect and treat spinal problems. The team at Gorey Family Chiropractic provide comprehensive care and education concerning your back, muscles and joints, helping you enjoy life to the fullest. Here’s our guide to gardening to minimise those aches & pains.

Tips for a Healthy Back in The Garden

  • Have the right tools for the task at hand
  • Ensure you drink plenty of fluids
  • Alternate between light and heavy jobs
  • Lift correctly
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Heavy loads should be shared
  • Your feet should be protected with thick soled supportive shoes
  • Before you start, warm-up your muscles
  • Avoid muscle strain, learn the right techniques
  • Change positions frequently
  • Kneel to plant and weed
  • Spinal check-ups can help keep your back healthy

Helping you Stay Healthy…


Limber up first. Your joints, muscles and back will thank you!

Stretch each of these body parts 5 times, holding each stretch for 15 seconds. Don‘t bounce, jerk or strain, it should be a gentle stretch, not a painful one.
Stretch your;  Thighs • Shoulders • Sides • Hamstrings • Arms & Wrists • Back



Choose tools that are ergonomically designed, are the correct tool for the job, have padded handles and spring action.

Here‘s a few more tips:

  1. A hose is easier to manage than a watering can.

  2. A good wheelbarrow makes moving heavier loads a breeze.

  3. Separate a larger load into several small ones.

  4. Wear comfortable, thick soled, supportive shoes.

  5. Use ergonomically designed, long handled,lightweight tools


Using the right moves can go along way to enabling you to plant and rake without the ache. Positioning your body correctly reduces strain on muscles and joints. So use these tips to enjoy the fruits of your labour for years to come.
Kneel To Plant. Use knee pads or a kneeling mat to reduce the strain while you plant and weed. Keep your back straight and stop frequently to take a break.
Rake Right. Ease the strain on your back by putting one leg in front, the other behind. Switch legs and hands from time to time.
Alternate Heavy. Light. Heavy. light. That‘s the right way to handle those chores.
Change Hands. Take the strain off by changing the position of your hands.
Check Your Position. And change it often. Kneel. Then stand or simply sit and relax for a while.


Shovel. Lift. Plant. Rake.
You can do it without the ache…If you learn how to lift correctly. The good news is – most lifting injuries are preventable. Here are the tried and tested rules for lifting with care, without hurting your back.

  • Get Close To The Load: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, head up, feet and body pointing in the same direction. Pivot with your feet… don‘t twist your body while carrying the load.
  • Knees Bent, Back Straight: Check the weight of what you are lifting. Use your leg and arm muscles to smoothly and slowly lift.
  • Easy Does It: Bend your knees and slowly lower the load to its intended place. Do not lift heavy objects above your waist. Avoid heavy lifting immediately after prolonged bending or kneeling.
  • Lifting Above Your Waist: Many hands make light work. Literally! So get some help with the heavy and awkward loads. Stand on something solid. Slowly lift the load, keeping it close to your body and pass the load to your helper.

Gorey Family Chiropractic; Supporting your Recovery and Helping Maintain It

If you are an existing client of Gorey Family Chiropractic and have any questions on the topic covered above or are a person suffering back or neck pain or indeed muscular or nerve pain please feel free to email or contact our clinic where we will be delighted to assist you..

For your convenience all of our Gorey Family  Chiropractic team are registered with VHI, Glo, Aviva and Laya Healthcare allowing clients claim reimbursement from a wide range of private healthcare Insurance providers. We also provide care under the GAA injury scheme.

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

Tel: 053 94 83338   or alternatively email