On-site Ergonomic Evaluations
Ergonomics is the study of minimizing the postural stress an individual experiences in his or her activities of daily living. In our office we look at ways to reduce postural stress in our patient's daily routines. Starting with the stresses that can occur with going to bed.
We can analyzed the posture stresses that occur in an individual's life from the start of their day until they go to bed. We look to reduce the postural stress in the daily commute by examining the relationship of the body to the pedals, the steering wheel and the shifter. We also look at the angle of the seat, the head rest height and position. In some cases a lumbar back support will correct an seat with poor back support. There have been several cases over the years we found the car to be the underlying cause to a chronic low back condition. Most so called ergonomic "experts" only focus on the work-station. We spend time learning about the work environment of our patient's, making recommendations to reduce the postural stress while teaching our patient's how to implement a stretching program at work to make the patient more resilient to injury.
Having a practice specializing in sports injuries, we take ergonomics to the next level. As an avid cycling (both road and mountain-biking) we can set an athlete up on his or her bike to minimize the postural stress to the neck, back, shoulders, knees and wrists, while increasing the aerodynamic efficiency of the cyclist. Runner's are analyzed on a treadmill for gait abnormalities, muscle imbalances/weakness in such a way as to increase the economy of motion. Making an athlete more efficient in his or her sport generally stems from reducing the amount of energy they need to expend while exercising. Other sports such as weight-lifting golf and tennis can also be analyzed in a similar manner, occasionally video motion analysis is used to detect subtle postural faults.
Yard work, from shoveling snow to gardening and raking leaves all are responsible for bringing many patients into the chiropractors office. We teach proper techniques to keep a patient in a neutral posture. By taking a common sense approach to helping our patients lead a pain-free active life, patient compliance is high, and the rate of exacerbations is low. The last component of examining the postural stress in a patient's day is assessing their sleeping patterns. Commonly asked questions during the consultation include; how old is the mattress, how often is it rotated, what position do you sleep in and how many pillows do you use, how thick are they. Alone the small changes may not amount to much but cumulatively they can reduce the postural stress immensely.
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