12 Dec 2018

Bend your knees and bend the rules

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At northlondonosteopaths Alan Nevies and his colleagues know there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to advising clients. A bespoke service of ensuring that the advice is tailor made to suit each case is the standard that northlondonosteopaths sets itself. This approach was confirmed in the Daily Telegraph, 17/11/18, where a study suggests that the generally accepted advice to “keep back straight and knees bent” may not be the best way to bend for everyone. The report was published in the Scandinavian Journal of Pain (ouch!) and its findings were that those forestry workers who bent to pick up their loads with a rounded back used less energy than those who kept their backs straight. The paper also found “no significant difference in spinal loads and compression forces between the two postures.”

In this country the NHS and Health and Safety Executive both recommend that people lift with a straight back. This is now being challenged as other studies and experiments in Curtin University, Australia, and Aberdeen University confirm the Scandinavian findings. The general rule is that the best lifting technique depends on the shape of the spine and will differ accordingly.

Alan Nevies and his colleagues at northlondonosteopaths believe when someone is picking up items from the floor they should keep these items close to their body to lessen the risk of injury. In most cases it is better to use the knees principally and not the back. Alan Nevies and colleagues at northlondonosteopaths also stress the importance of seeing exactly how scientific studies are conducted as not all of them are created equal (ly good). What is however, of universal application, is the importance of seeing each patient as an individual so advice that might be right for one will not be right for the next patient in the waiting room!