The chiropractic profession is inarguably a demanding job and maintaining self-care to prevent injury should be high on your priority list.
Not only are you committed to devoting your time, your attention and your expertise to your patients, but you’re also uniquely committed to using your physical abilities to help them heal.
As a DC who’s consistently explaining injury prevention to your patients, it’s no secret you need to invest in self–care, such as injury prevention tactics and exercises as well. Being a DC doesn’t necessarily “add years to your life,” but it does put you at risk for injury.
This article explores a few DC-specific self-care exercises and insights to help you avoid injury, strengthen your skills and even provide you with career longevity.
How to maintain self-care
Though you have an elevated understanding of injury prevention, DC injury is actually quite common in the profession. Typically, this is the result of burnout, consistent physical activity and positioning patients in awkward or unnatural positions to provide proper treatment.
But avoiding injury isn’t just about avoiding pain and bodily harm (though, those reasons are certainly important). As a DC, if you get hurt, you’re sacrificing more than just your physicality–you’re putting your career at risk.
Self-care can help you in the following ways:
- Protect your body and physical health despite a physically demanding job
- Bypass physical and mental burnout as a result of the physical stress
- Promote career longevity and keep you practicing for as long as you’d prefer
- Preserve your overall health and wellness
- Allow you to be more present for your patients
Four self-care tips to prevent occupational injury
Self-care tip #1: Exercise to strengthen your body
Though manual adjustments do provide physical exercise each day, strengthening your supporting muscles through a regular workout routine can help you avoid musculoskeletal injuries. Focus on exercises that strengthen your back and your core to avoid injury and promote proper spinal alignment.
Self-care tip #2: Schedule regular chiropractic adjustments for yourself
Your patients aren’t the only ones who should seek out regular chiropractic care. You should, too. Practice what you preach and schedule regular adjustments to ensure that you have proper spinal alignment and are reducing the risk of injury in your physically demanding job.
Self-care tip #3: Get proper rest and take breaks
Burnout is a real cause of injury. In some cases, your body can be too worn down to properly protect itself from injury. In others, your mental grogginess could lead you to make a mistake that ends up causing you pain. Ultimately, one of the best (and simplest) ways to avoid injury is to allow yourself proper rest, adequate breaks throughout the day and periods of time when you aren’t using your body for manual adjustments.
Self-care tip #4: Choose reliable tools to minimize physical demand
Inarguably, your primary tool for your treatment is your body. According to a survey, about 45% of DCs suffer from pain, physical fatigue and other restrictions that may limit their ability to adjust their patients. Further, another study suggests about 40% of DCs experienced injuries while performing chiropractic work.
One of the easiest ways you can prevent injury is to rely less on your body as the tool and put your faith and skills into tools that bear the brunt of the demand for you. Tools like instrument adjusters and visualization software can help facilitate more precise adjustments and provide impulse therapy to bypass the need for manual adjustment.
In a way, protecting yourself from injury is the same as protecting your patients. If you’re unable to practice because of an injury, you’re unable to assist them with their treatment needs. For more insight into self-care, injury prevention, career longevity and preserving your health as a DC, subscribe to Chiropractic Economics.