Gardening posture

Gardening is fun, great exercise and you can do it at any age, but there is a risk of overdoing it in the garden and causing injury. Gardeners face physically demanding tasks and plunge into these tasks without warming up, using appropriate tools or thinking about correct posture. 

Melanie Clark, of Malton and Easingwold Chiropractic wants to raise awareness of the importance of posture whilst gardening and using ergonomically friendly tools as we head into gardening season. She is a keen gardener herself and so understands the strains you can put on your body.

You can help avoid injury by following some simple tips:

  • Warm up properly. Just as you would before starting any other exercise. Try to start with lighter tasks and work up to heavier work. 
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects. But if you do, then use a wheelbarrow or trolley, or ask for assistance.
  • If lifting or bending, hold item close to your body, with elbows bent to minimise stress on your back. Bend your knees or hips rather than your back. Use long handled, lightweight tools to limit bending and contract your abdominal muscles before you lift or bend.
  • Use raised beds if possible to minimize bending
  • Use wide handled tools to keep a neutral wrist position and help prevent repetitive strain injuries. You can widen your existing tool handles using foam tubing or tape.
  • Keep tools sharp and in good condition to reduce the energy required by you.
  • Use knee cushions/pads and suitable protective gloves, and wear comfortable loose clothing.
  • Vary your activity every 30 minutes and take regular breaks.
  • Listen to your body. If it hurts, then stop.
  • Use an icepack or have a hot bath after gardening as a preventative measure.

If you would like further advice or find out about how chiropractic can help you contact Melanie directly on 07969050422.

The Clinic in Malton

Malton Chiropractic is part of a multi-disciplinary Health Centre. There are 6 different therapies available at The Clinic, Malton, to help you back to full health! We know that lifestyles today are very stressful, and many of us are working harder and longer than ever before. We sit in the car on the way to work, sit for hours at our workstations and then go home and sit in front of the television to relax. This can lead to many postural and musculo-skeletal problems. Our lives are so busy that we don’t have time to exercise anymore. Our diets are more reliant on fast foods and as a result we face increased rates of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

At the The Clinic in Malton we can get you back on track with your physical and mental well being all under one roof.

Therapies available at The Clinic:

  • Chiropractic
  • Podiatry/Chiropody
  • Physiotherapy
  • Reflexology
  • Holistic/complementary therapy
  • Facial Aesthetics

All these therapies available under one roof means patients often address multiple facets of their health care simultaneously – with great results!

Attention all York marathon runners!

 Injury Prevention

With only days to go until The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon it's more important than ever to stay injury free after all the hard work you have put in to date. Chiropractor Melanie Clark knows all too well about the perils of injuries prior to a major event, being a former swimming GB representative. Here are a few top tips on how you can avoid those last minute niggles.


Hopefully you don't have any, but if you do, now is the time to get them sorted.

Do not just rest it in the hope it will go away, because valuable time can pass while you do this. Even if an injury appears to have come out of nowhere, the underlying cause may have been bubbling under for some time. A chiropractor can get swiftly to the root of your injury by looking at the whole body and your run technique, can help you get back on your feet quickly. For example, just because your Achilles hurts, it doesn't mean that the problem originated there.


If you can't run as much as you would like, either through your legs not being able to cope with lots of running or through injury, don't just do nothing. If you can't run, there is usually something else you can do to stay fit.

Drinking on the run - practice, practice, practice!

Plan the final weeks of training and work backwards! The last really long run should be done by two weeks before the big day, so you should be on a gradual taper by now, to ensure you arrive on race day fresh enough to get round the race.


Train in what you will wear on race day so you know it won't chafe or give you blisters.

Eating in the last few days

Reduced training amounts and keeping up your normal high carbohydrate training diet should ensure that your muscle cells are full of glycogen fuel for race day. Word of warning: go easy on the fibre the day before the race! Keep well hydrated in these last few days, too.

Morning of the race

Know what you are going to have for breakfast. Practice having this - and running afterwards - before the big day. Get up early enough to have plenty of time to get ready without panicking, get to the start, with plenty of time for toilet trips etc

Enjoy the experience

Running a marathon is a huge achievement and you should be proud of yourself!

Melanie Clark is a chiropractor at The Clinic in Malton and a former swimming GB representative. The treatment of sports injuries is one of her passions as a chiropractor. Contact Malton Chiropractic at The Clinic on 01653 228026 or 07969050422.

If you are taking part and book before or after the marathon, Melanie will donate 10% of your bill to one of the partner charities of the 2013 Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon. To take advantage of this offer take your race number with you to your initial consultation. You can choose which charity you wish to donate the 10% to.

 Good luck!

Back to Work


Research from The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) in March 2013 * found that 44% of the population were currently suffering from some form of back pain or neck pain. As the nation goes back to work after the summer break, the steady increase in office/desk based working could be adding to an ‘epidemic of back pain’ 

Previous research also found that a third of office workers make no adjustments to either seating or computer equipment when switching desks. 

There are also two other problem areas – sitting too long without a break and carrying heavy computer bags to work. When asked to state the longest period respondents had sat at a computer without a break, most people – over 30 per cent – said between three and five hours. In addition, over 10 per cent of workers carry a laptop – and many struggle into the office weighed down with paperwork, items to post and desk diaries.

Melanie Clark of Malton Chiropractic comments: “Whether at work or at home, computers have begun to dominate our lives, yet what we don’t realise is that they in fact have the ability to damage our health. The nation is suffering from an epidemic of back pain and our working lives could be contributing to this. By taking time to adjust your chair and by taking regular breaks can help protect your spine and prevent the onslaught of back pain”. 

Almost 50 per cent of office workers in the survey felt their current chair did not provide adequate back support.

To help protect our backs at work, Melanie offers some useful tips for us to keep in mind at the start of each working week:

Make time to check your bag/briefcase each day for items you won’t need. Additional weight in your bag is extra weight that your shoulders and back have to bear.

Use a rucksack design laptop case, carry it on both shoulders and adjust the straps so that the bag is held close to your back.

Take the time to adjust your chair when you start working at a new location.

Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, your hips slightly higher than your knees and your eyes level with the centre of the computer screen.

Relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back and your shoulder blades are touching the back rest of the chair.

Arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using. Use a seat with arm rests.

Take regular breaks. Never sit at the computer for more than 40 minutes; less if possible. When you take a break, walk around and stretch a little.

For more information contact Melanie Clark at Malton Chiropractic on 01653 228026 or


Back to School

With the new school term about to start, Melanie Clark from Malton Chiropractic is highlighting the risks that school children may be under. From the bag and shoes they choose, to the amount of TV they watch, young people are constantly putting a strain on their posture. A sedentary lifestyle could also put children at risk of developing back pain later in life.

Past surveys have revealed that:

Unsurprisingly, school-age children spend large amounts of time in sedentary positions watching TV, playing games consoles and using a computer. Spending long periods of time sitting still puts pressure on the spine.

Kids often lie down on their front to watch TV or play console games – lying with the head tilted back in this way can load the small joints in the neck and lower back. 

Types of school bags vary and, whilst many kids use a rucksack for school, these are often not adjusted correctly to maximise their benefit.

Most children no longer walk to school, travelling instead by bus, train or car. 

Melanie suggests that many of the risks to children’s backs can be minimised by correcting bad habits.  “Even something as simple as a child using the two straps on his or her rucksack, rather than one, can make all the difference.”

Melanie makes the following recommendations for parents as they prepare their children for the new school year ahead.

  Bag it up - if your child has to carry a bag to school – make sure you offer advice as to the type of bag they choose. A rucksack is the best option, as long as it is carried over both shoulders, with the straps adjusted so that the bag is held close to the back and weight is evenly distributed.

  Keep it light – make sure your child is not carrying any unnecessary excess weight - check their bag each day to make sure that all the items in there are required.

  Best Foot Forward - Make sure your child has good footwear; soft-soled shoes that are supportive and have a good grip will make it easier for them to carry a heavy school bag.

  Exercise – lack of exercise is your child’s worst enemy. Encourage them to take regular exercise; the fitter your child is, the less likely they are to injure themselves.

  Move around – Staying still for a long time is bad for your spine. Limit your child to small sittings of no more than 40 minutes on the computer or watching TV, before they get up and do something else for a while.

  Computer posture– when using a PC or a computer console - make sure they

are set up so they are sitting comfortably and their spine is supported. 

For further information contact Melanie Clark clinic at Malton Chiropractic Clinic on 01653 228026 or