‘Straighten Up and Move’ is the message from the Chiropractic Association of Ireland (CAI) as they launched the fifth annual Straighten Up Ireland Week which takes place from October 14 - 20.
A highlight of the week is World Spine Day on Wednesday 16 and CAI is urging adults and children throughout Ireland to do a little work on the flexibility, balance and strength of their spines to reduce the risk of future back problems and improve overall health.
Straighten Up Ireland is a posture care programme that aims to raise awareness of spinal health, highlight the impact of spinal and postural disorders, and empower people with knowledge and tools to help them improve and maintain their spinal health. The theme of ‘Straighten Up and Move’ emphasises the importance of healthy spinal posture and activity, which promotes body awareness and minimises the day-to-day wear and tear on a person’s spine.
According to a recent CAI survey, one-fifth of respondents (21 per cent) experience regular back, neck, and/or shoulder pain, with almost three quarters (72 per cent) suffering from one or more of these issues on occasion. As part of Straighten Up Ireland Week and to address these common complaints, the CAI will be highlighting a series of simple everyday exercises, which take only three minutes to complete and act to improve posture, stabilise core muscles, enhance health and help prevent spinal disability. The exercises can be undertaken by people of all ages with a special program tailored for children.
Dr Siobhan Guiry, President of the CAI commented: “Back pain is the second most frequent reason for doctor visits, second only to the common cold. Increasingly in this technological age, individuals are experiencing greater levels of spinal discomfort and disability related to stress and poor posture. Many people commonly work and play in cramped or slouched postures. The resulting pandemic of work and recreation-related chronic spinal disorders compromises the quality of our lives. Not only does this have a major socio-economic impact in Ireland with absenteeism and reduced efficiency in the workplace, it also means that many people are suffering with pain and disability each day.”
“It is never too early, or too late to start looking after your spine. These exercises can be completed at any time of day but are most beneficial when they form part of a daily routine. It’s hoped that over time everyone in Ireland will take a few minutes every day to care for their spinal health, just as they would brush their teeth,” she said.
The week long campaign will see numerous national and local events take place throughout the country. Chiropractors will be out and about in their communities visiting schools and workplaces to demonstrate the exercises and provide tips and information on how to improve spinal health. There will also be a number of free screenings, seminars and information evenings throughout the week.
The Straighten-Up campaign originated from a chiropractic university in America. It was designed in collaboration with a team of leading health experts and is endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Bone and Joint Decade. Please visit www.chiropractic.ie for more information on the Chiropractic Association of Ireland and Straighten Up Ireland Week. Information leaflets advising how to do the exercises are also available for download.