It is normal for human beings to not use their body symmetrically all of the time. A one-sided hand or foot preference for example allows us to be better skilled with a particular side.
Our joints and muscles (including spine, pelvis, hips and shoulders) however may benefit from more balanced or symmetrical usage. Too much activity on one side, or not enough activity on the other, can have its problems and may in some circumstances contribute to recurring neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain or hip pain.
Where possible, adults and older children should attempt to balance out the activities they do most often. I have outlined some ways to do this below.
NB. Please note that some of the activities below may be difficult to perform at first and may require days or weeks of practice to get used to. If the user appears to be in pain or discomfort stop the activity and consider discussing this with a spine health professional.
- On the Phone. Swap hands regularly, use hands free or use a headset.
- Vacuuming/Sweeping/Mopping. Swap the side of your body that you hold the vacuum, broom or mop regularly throughout each session.
- Carrying your Hand bag / Back pack / Brief case / Lap top. Swap sides regularly each day.
- Carrying your Child. Swap sides regularly each day.
- Up and Down Stairs. The next time you go to climb a set of stairs, make note of which foot you tend to lead with. If you do have a preferred side, try to lead with the other foot 50% of the time. The same goes for going down stairs.
- Getting up from the floor. When you get up off the floor, which knee do you push up on? Identify your preferred side and try to use the other as well.
- Kneeling down. If you kneel down to get something, what knee do you go down on? Identify your preferred side and try to use the other as well.
- Cleaning the shower or washing the car. Swap hands regularly through out.
- Computer Mouse. Swap the mouse to the other side of your keyboard.
- Sitting with legs crossed or tucked under your body to one side. If you must sit like this, try to swap the side you cross or tuck your legs regularly.
I hope you find this article helpful. If you have any questions on this topic please do not hesitate to contact our office on 8272 2862 or by email.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is general in nature and is not intended as a substitute for professional help or advice. Neither Sure Start Chiropractic nor any of its practitioners assume any responsibility for harm or injury to anyone who uses the information.