My name is Kevin Muldowney and I am the owner of Muldowney Physical Therapy. This page is devoted to proper body mechanics. Proper body mechanics refers to the way we move with our daily activities. Using proper body mechanics will place less stress on your joints, which will decrease your risk for injury. Below are some examples of proper body mechanics with certain activities that we do daily. I hope they help. Thank you.
Click here to download the full Proper Body Mechanics Guide for Activities of daily living
Today, I would like to discuss how to properly wash dishes. (Image 1) The problem with washing dishes is that when you stand at the sink, you bend forward slightly to pick up the dishes and wash them. This motion of bending forward with your back can cause increased low back pain over time. (Image 2) In order to alleviate this type of pain, what you need to do is place one foot inside the cabinet underneath the sink. This will flatten out your back and relieve the pressure on your low back while doing the dishes. Also, as you are washing the dishes, if you start to feel increased low back pain, stop what you are doing and walk around the house for one minute. This will also help to alleviate your back pain. Then, you can return to washing the dishes again. Thank you.
I would like to discuss proper sitting posture. (Image 1) When you sit in a chair, you should have a natural arch in your back, which is called a lordosis. Your feet should be on the ground and your neck, mid back and shoulders should be upright and aligned. This posture places the least amount of stress on your low back, mid back, neck and shoulders. (Image 2) When you slump down into a chair, the arch in your back will decrease, your head will move forward and your shoulders and mid back will also roll forward. This posture will cause increased pressure in your low back, mid back, neck and shoulders. As you lose the arch in your back, you will place more pressure on your discs as well as your SI joint. This may cause you pain in your low back that radiates down your legs which is called sciatica. As you roll your shoulders forward, you can have increase pain both in your shoulders and between your shoulder blades. If you continue to raise your arms in this posture, like working on your computer, you can irritate your rotator cuff over time, causing pain in your shoulder that radiates down to the outside part of your arm. Finally, as your neck is forward, it can place increased pressure on both the muscles and the discs which can cause achey pain in your neck as well as pain down your arms. It can also cause headaches which derive from the back of your head. (Image 3) Just utilizing proper sitting posture and avoiding the slumping position, can help decrease your low back, mid back, neck pain and headaches. The use of a lumbar roll can assist you in maintaining this proper sitting posture. Thank you.
Getting Out Of Car To Protect Low Back
Today, I would like to discuss how to protect your back while getting in and out of a car. Most of us when getting out of a car, place one leg out of the car, then bend and twist our entire body around to get out of the car seat. This bending and twisting motion can cause low back pain. The proper way to get out of a car is to turn your entire body toward the door, place both feet on the ground, and then with your back straight, stand up. This motion places the least amount of pressure on your back while getting out of the car.
I hope this helps. Thank you.
Today I would like to talk to you about how to carry grocery bags in from the car without hurting your back. (Image1) When you carry any object, including grocery bags, what you do not want to do is place all the grocery bags in one hand. When you place all the grocery bags in one hand, you will have a tendency to lean your back toward that side. This will cause increased low back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain. (Image 2) Instead, what you want to do is pick up the groceries with both hands and evenly distribute the weight among each arm. This will protect your back while you are carrying the groceries in from the car. I hope this helps. Thank you.
Today, I would like to discuss how to properly carry an object. (Image 1) When you carry an object, you want to bring that object as close to the center of gravity of your body as you can. This will decrease the amount of stress you place on your low back, mid back, neck and shoulders as you carry that object. The center of gravity for your body is at S2, which is approximately a little bit below your belly button. So, when you carry an object, place the object as close to your belly button as you can, which will decrease the amount of stress on your low back. (Image 2) You never want to hold an object with your arms straight out in front of you because this puts a lot of pressure on your low back, shoulders and neck. (Image 3) Holding objects close to your center of gravity will help alleviate some of your pain while carrying objects.
Work Station – Proper set up of your computer
Today, I would like to discuss with you the proper set up of your computer, either at home or at work. After listening to this audio, if you would like to click on the words, “computer set up” in the text, you will be able to download a picture of how to set up your computer properly. One of the most common problems that I see with computer set ups is that the screen is too low. This causes a person to slouch down in their chair in order to view the screen. This posture can cause pain in your back, neck and shoulders. To fix this, raise your screen so the top third of the screen is even with your eyes. The second biggest problem that I see with computer set ups is that the key board is too high, which causes you to shrug your shoulders, causing neck pain and sometimes headaches. When you place your hands on the keyboard, your elbows should be bent to about ninety degrees. These two suggestions should help you use your computer with less pain.