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Are you a Chicken?

No, I'm not about to dare you!

I'm wondering, do you have a "chicken wing" when working on patients?


This is a common ergonomic issue I see and something I used to do myself! Technically, this is called arm abduction and it can be very damaging to our musculoskeletal system if done too often or for too long.


Arm Abduction

Depending on how far the arm is out from the body, this could damage the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc) in the non-dominant shoulder and neck.


Technically, our arm should be as close to our body as possible when working.

Is it possible all the time? No. But arm abduction should be the exception, not the rule.

Abducting the arm no more than 20° is still considered safe, and we won't be putting undo pressure on our musculoskeletal system.

Some tips are:

  • Be mindful of your body positioning

  • Keep your patient's mouth at YOUR elbow level when you're in neutral posture.

  • Get an ergonomic assessment to discover your unique habits and solutions

  • Practice the "mirror slam" (a technique I teach my clients, my lecture attendees, and will be in my upcoming patient positioning course)

Mirror Slam Technique

It won't be perfect all the time, but once we develop good body awareness, we can start correcting this dangerous habit.


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