To mark Carers BackCare Awareness Week, C3 Chiropractic is taking a lead role in advising the over 384,000 unpaid carers in Wales how to look after their backs.
C3 Chiropractic’s Bridgend clinic chose Morgana Court Care Home in South Cornelly, to demonstrate a plan that helps people caring for others at home.
It comes as new research from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) shows that lifting and carrying can trigger back pain for almost half (49%) of people in Wales, with home carers at higher risk with additional stresses and strains on their bodies.
Rainer Wieser, Doctor of Chiropractic and founder of the C3 Chiropractic Clinic said: “Whilst professional care homes such as Morgana Court have lifting and moving equipment and staff trained to protect their backs, many home carers do not receive any training in back care.
Carers spend long periods of time on their feet and put a lot of strain on their bodies, from lifting and assisting the person they are caring for, to moving equipment. They need to be particularly careful not to overload themselves and put their backs at risk.”
C3 Chiropractic Clinic has produced a seven point plan and is promoting a video produced by the BCA to help carers to better look after themselves:
Rainer Wieser also recommends that a three minute video exercise routine entitled ‘Straighten Up UK’ produced by the BCA, is incorporated into daily life to help strengthen the spine and improve posture.
Dr Bikram Choudhary, Chief Executive of Silvercrest Group, said: “Staff wellbeing and welfare is of course extremely important to us, but we are concerned that home carers do not have access to the kind of professional training we provide in our care homes.
We hope that our initiative with C3 Chiropractic Clinic will raise awareness of the vital rules home carers should follow to help protect themselves from present day and future back problems.”
7 Golden rules for carers
1) Think ahead
assess each situation and look for the best and easiest way to achieve the desired result, this may mean using any available equipment whether it be for specialist lifting or a hand trolley for moving boxes of supplies.
2) Follow the weight
always try and face the direction in which you want to carry any weight – your body is strongest when you are square on to the weight.
3) Take care when lifting
never lift while twisting from the waist. Bend your knees, try to have a relaxed, straight back and if possible, brace your abdominal muscles. For added stability make sure that your feet are about a shoulder width or more apart before lifting.
4) Supportive shoes are essential
wear good, soft-soled shoes that are supportive and have a good grip on the ground.
5) Take regular breaks
if doing a repetitive task, take a break every 20 minutes and do some simple stretches to relax your muscles.
6) Ask for help
if in a home setting looking after a relative or friend there are many local agencies and charities who can assess and advise on what equipment or help you may need. Don’t carry on putting your body at strain. Explore all avenues of assistance. If you are provided with any equipment, make sure you are given training on how to use it.
7) Ask for training
if in a formal setting make sure you have been properly trained in good lifting techniques and on any equipment you are using.
Caption 1: Kate Mosedale, Doctor of Chiropractic from C3 Chiropractic Clinic in Bridgend, pictured launching the new back care programme at Morgana Court, Bridgend.
Caption 2: (L-R): Janet Power, Care Assistant at Morgana Court with Kate Mosedale, Doctor of Chiropractic from C3 Chiropractic Clinic in Bridgend.
Caption 3: (L-R): Anita Lloyd, resident at Morgana Court, Janet Power, Care Assistant at Morgana Court and Kate Mosedale, Doctor of Chiropractic from C3 Chiropractic Clinic in Bridgend