The New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association is recommending Kiwis limber up before undertaking any strenuous activity around the home to prevent injury or worse.
According to Dr. Hayden Thomas, chiropractor and spokesperson for the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association: ‘At this time of year we see an increase in people seeking care for conditions brought on by sudden bursts of new activity after winter deconditioning, which essentially means they are out of shape. Injuries are really common, especially among people who have tried to do too much or attempt new activities without enough preparation. We know from ACC that 12 people die every week and many more are injured in accidents at home. Last year ACC received claims for more than 3000 accidents on Christmas Day and 3,500 injuries on Boxing Day, which together cost nearly $5 million1. We’re hopeful that with a little preparation and some fine tuning of people’s neuromusculoskeletal systems by their family chiropractor, we can reduce those numbers this year.’
Groundbreaking New Zealand research has shown that chiropractic care can help improve muscle strength and control, and assist with balance and coordination which may also help prevent strains, falls and other injuries2,3.
US research shows that more than one quarter (26%) of homeowners who have completed a DIY project reported injuries to themselves or someone else in their household during a home maintenance project, according to a survey by the National Safety Council4.
`We think that figure may be slighter higher in New Zealand,’ says Dr Thomas, `due to our can-do, number eight wire mentality and love of DIY. ‘Over winter many people stop exercising as much. This can result in joint stiffness, loss of muscle strength, muscle memory and control. We want to encourage people to be active, however care should be taken to prepare for any sort of strenuous or new activity, not just sports, to reduce injury risk and to warm up and cool down appropriately. We advise people to develop and maintain a regular varied physical exercise programme, in conjunction with advice from their chiropractor, that is individually tailored to their needs.’
‘Your body needs regular movement to stimulate growth and repair, starting at a cellular level and on up’ says Dr Thomas. ‘Inactivity affects all body systems but the good news is it’s never too late to start moving. Straighten Up New Zealand (www.straightenup.org.nz) is an easy and enjoyable every day programme to improve spinal health and posture. Consisting of a set of simple exercises and taking just three minutes to complete, Straighten Up New Zealand will help improve posture, stabilise core muscle groups, enhance health and prevent spinal disability. Just be sure to work within your limits and build up activity slowly and sensibly to enjoy the holiday season and summer’.
Some Quick Facts:
One in two (50%) who were personally injured taking on a home improvement project got hurt doing basic garden maintenance
Nearly one in four (24%) were put on the injured list while painting the inside of their homes
And nearly one in five (17%) blame routine home maintenance projects for their injuries
For further information on the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association visit www.chiropractic.org.nz.
2 Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics March/April 2012, Holt et al The Effects of Manual Therapy on Balance and Falls: A Systematic Review
3 Haavik H, Murphy B. The role of spinal manipulation in addressing disordered sensorimotor integration and altered motor control. J Electromyogr Kinesiol (2012), doi:10.1016/j.jelekin.2012.02.012