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Scoliosis ! Grooming and back pain

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  • Scoliosis ! Grooming and back pain

    Hi all ! I'm interested in attending grooming school this is something I have wanted to do for the longest. I do have scoliosis shifting my back to the right side . I understand this is very physically demanding and can cause some pain. I'm wondering are there any other groomers out there with scoliosis and does anyone have any advice for me ? Certain ergonomics ?

  • #2
    Actually my mother had moderate scoliosis all of her life and was a groomer as well as manager. She was always under medical care but primarily they just treated her for pain. She lived with that pain all of her life. You need good shoes with proper support as she did. She found regular treatments at least once a month with a gentle chiro really helped a lot, helped, not a cure of course.

    We have known and even wrote many business plans along the way for groomers that limited their grooming pets 25 pounds or under. In fact, some of the plans we wrote did an entire 1 person business for toy breed size pets, and they did quite well. So in your future if you stick with this, you need to avoid medium and large pets which may require you start your own specialty business, but you will first need real time experience. So take care of yourself and try to find employment without heavy lifting, and if you must lift, get help from someone else. All groomers should have another one help with heavy lifting actually.

    If sitting helps, then learn to groom sitting at times. I actually know another groomer with some scoliosis and she does gentle yoga to loosen up after the work week too.
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    • #3
      Ditto to admins comment, great shoes with great support are a must. I dont even have scolioss but I still help my chiropractor make his boat payments every month.

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      • #4
        I do have scoliosis and do anywhere from 8 to 14 dogs a day on my own. A morning shower to relax my back after a nights sleep , an aspirin when necessary, remembering to change position and walk occasionally, good shoes and Salon Pas patches ( and a great acupuncturist!) make my life wonderful.
        I used to have a desk job that kept me seated for hours. Never knew that kind of back pain before. Being able to move has made my back feel sooooooo much better. Remember to not let yourself lean into the scoliosis. Keep a small sign around telling you to straighten, stretch and smile.
        We're only ever limited by the boundaries we set on ourselves.

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        • #5
          I've groomed for 20 years with scoliosis (mine is between my shoulder blades, spine is shifted to my left). As others have said, don't skimp on your shoes. I currently prefer Alegrias, but any quality nursing shoe will suffice. Gel mats around your table. Tiger Balm patches. Back support belt when needed. Monthly chiropractic adjustments help. Core strengthening exercises are important . If you can afford it, an electric table is well worth the investment!

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          • #6
            Yep, me too. Good shoes... adjustable table. And for me, I use an inversion table to hang upside down. Funny.. it's the little dogs in the tub that make by back hurt the worst.
            Debbie
            There's always room for another rose in the garden.

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            • #7
              I also have some pretty bad back pain, not scoliosis related, and I am successfully running a fully booked small dog only (or mostly) operation. I dropped big dogs almost a year ago. I wish I'd done it sooner. I figure I have another 15ish years to work. I don't have 15ish years worth of big dogs left in me. Financially, I haven't missed big dogs at all.

              I have a comfortable rolly chair and alternate a lot between sitting and standing. I also have an adjustable hydraulic table and a tub that is elevated to a pretty comfortable height. I pay close attention to posture and deliberately flex and arch and straighten my back often and avoid the slouchy positions that aggravate it which also happen to be lazy positions that it's easy to slide into if I don't pay attention.

              So I guess my advice in addition to others' is posture awareness, comfort, appropriate equipment, and if you think big dogs are too much, don't. Oh, also echo the sentiment of the value of a good chiro. When I had a good chiro, regular adjustments helped a lot (even though, again, my issue isn't scoliosis). It seems it takes a bit of hunting to find a good one, though. My first one moved away a while back, and no one since him seems to do me any good. Still looking. But they're out there and worth it if you can find a good one.

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              • #8
                I have 2 fairly bad curves in my spine. One 35 degree and one 40 degree. I will not lie to you. I hurt every day. Good shoes and anti fatigue mats are absolutely essential. You will also probably have limited time doing large dogs. I'm working towards opening my own salon and I will only be doing large dogs when I have help to lift and hold them.


                I should technically probably not be doing dogs over 50 lbs but I have about 60 doodle clients so what are you gonna do?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Totally Clips View Post
                  I also have some pretty bad back pain, not scoliosis related, and I am successfully running a fully booked small dog only (or mostly) operation. I dropped big dogs almost a year ago. I wish I'd done it sooner. I figure I have another 15ish years to work. I don't have 15ish years worth of big dogs left in me. Financially, I haven't missed big dogs at all.

                  I have a comfortable rolly chair and alternate a lot between sitting and standing. I also have an adjustable hydraulic table and a tub that is elevated to a pretty comfortable height. I pay close attention to posture and deliberately flex and arch and straighten my back often and avoid the slouchy positions that aggravate it which also happen to be lazy positions that it's easy to slide into if I don't pay attention.

                  So I guess my advice in addition to others' is posture awareness, comfort, appropriate equipment, and if you think big dogs are too much, don't. Oh, also echo the sentiment of the value of a good chiro. When I had a good chiro, regular adjustments helped a lot (even though, again, my issue isn't scoliosis). It seems it takes a bit of hunting to find a good one, though. My first one moved away a while back, and no one since him seems to do me any good. Still looking. But they're out there and worth it if you can find a good one.
                  ^^^^^THIS^^^^ Except I stopped large dogs 4 yrs ago (but I have my own large dogs to do).
                  Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.

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                  • #10
                    I have scoliosis in my lower back. I limit large dogs to usually 2-3 a day depending on breed & how I am grooming them. I like Skechers for shoes, and do well with them. I go to the chiropractor and get massage - each once a month. I also try to exercise 3-4 times a week whether I want to or not.[emoji6]


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                    • #11
                      Hey everyone ! Sorry it took so long to respond I'm new to this forum just figuring out how to use it ! Lol Thankyou so much for everyone's opinions .. I've been going back and forth with what I should do and is it worth it for my health to go in this direction. It's so comforting to know a lot of people have the same issue as me ! I'm going to sign up for school and hopefully start next month.. I'm going to make sure I have good sneakers and will try to avoid big dogs eventually !!! Do you know at certain places petco/smart are there bathers ? From what I understand that's where your in the most back pain because your hunched over washing them? does anyone else have any advice and warnings on other issues I may come across ? Thank you so much !

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Amanda Pappas View Post
                        Hey everyone ! Sorry it took so long to respond I'm new to this forum just figuring out how to use it ! Lol Thankyou so much for everyone's opinions .. I've been going back and forth with what I should do and is it worth it for my health to go in this direction. It's so comforting to know a lot of people have the same issue as me ! I'm going to sign up for school and hopefully start next month.. I'm going to make sure I have good sneakers and will try to avoid big dogs eventually !!! Do you know at certain places petco/smart are there bathers ? From what I understand that's where your in the most back pain because your hunched over washing them? does anyone else have any advice and warnings on other issues I may come across ? Thank you so much !
                        Yes they have bathers at the corp salons but if you work there, that is how you will start out. Unless you go to a school and then go to the corp salon. Good luck!

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                        • #13
                          Thankyou! Going to school first and then applying for jobs

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                          • #14
                            Me again.
                            Bathing was a pain in the back when I started until I remembered my skiing training and started using a ski posture ( legs bent rather than back/ back straight). Reduced discomfort to almost zero level.

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                            • #15
                              There are bathers but at least at PetSmart they don't bathe groomer's dogs. They do bath dogs and nail trims, etc.

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