Chiropractic is all about taking care of your spine so that you don’t develop any long term problems with your neck, back, joints and muscles. So essentially it is something we all need to be aware of no matter what age we are.

Just in our day to day living, we encounter situations and circumstances that put us in danger of injuring ourselves. For example, with the current icy and wintery weather conditions, there is a danger of injuries caused by slips and falls. It is quite natural, therefore, for us to be wary when walking outdoors and adopting our ‘ice walk.’ The problem is that an unnatural walking posture could cause as many problems as the icy conditions themselves. That’s why it’s essential to have the right footwear.

It is a good idea to have two pairs of shoes, one for walking on the ice and snow, the other for indoors or whilst driving. Shoes with support features are important – walking shoes with a firm ankle support are ideal as they help prevent you ‘going over’ on your ankle and help you feel more stable in slippery conditions. If your shoes have laces, they should be firmly laced to give a close fit without limiting circulation. Avoid Wellington boots because they often don’t give enough support and can be difficult to take off. Also avoid walking outside in leather or other, smooth soled shoes.

If you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution to get fit and you’re still hitting the gym like crazy (good for you!) it’s important to be careful not to injure yourself. Tim Hutchful, British Chiropractic Association (BCA) chiropractor, comments: “It’s great to have the will and motivation to get fitter but bear in mind that exercise puts added pressure on our joints and muscles which could cause issues for your back and neck if not introduced to your body in a safe way.”  It’s vitally important to warm up first.    Start with lighter movements like walking or jogging to lessen the chance of muscle strain.

While exercising, be sure to maintain good posture throughout, especially when handling weights. When using weights, make sure your legs are at least hips’ width apart and lift with bent knees. Never keep the knees straight, as this could lead to over-stretching and cause damage to your back. Avoid bending from the waist too, as it will increase stress on your lower back. A weight held at arm’s length can have the effect of being up to five times heavier, so try to work with weights closer to the body to help avoid injury. Always face the direction you want to carry the weight and lift using a relaxed, straight back without twisting.

 Finally, be careful that your bed time is not turning into tech time! New research from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) reveals that more than half (54%) of us are using mobile phones in bed and nearly half (49%) confess to using a laptop or a tablet at bedtime. The BCA says that reducing the amount of technology we use in the bedroom could lead to improved quality of sleep and better posture. So how can we strike a good balance?

If you find yourself tempted to check your emails one last time before bed, try doing this in the living room or the kitchen then switch off your laptop or mobile phone and pack the device away in your bag ready for work the next morning. If you really can’t resist, make sure your back is supported with a pillow and the device is propped up so it’s at eye level. Looking down at screens in bed means your neck won’t be supported and the weight of your head leaning forward will put pressure on your back, which may cause back or neck pain.