The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) estimates that 10,000 people in the UK visit a chiropractor with DIY-related injuries each month.

After this weekend, the association believes the figure could rise as people take advantage of the extra day off and do renovation work around the house which they have been putting off since winter.

In an attempt to reduce injury, the British Chiropractic Association has identified the top three home improvement tasks which can lead to DIY disaster:

Painting and decorating - including painting those awkward areas such as ceilings and papering the walls.

Pruning and patios - the "room outside" has a lot to answer for, with laying patios and digging among the worst offenders.

Moving and lifting heavy items, shifting furniture and twisting on ladders.

It's not only the chiropractic couches which are seeing the DIY walking wounded. Nearly 4,000 people a week are treated in hospital following a DIY disaster. There is a right way and wrong way of doing things to avoid hurting yourself - from banging a nail in a wall to painting a ceiling. The advice is not to rush the DIY task but to plan ahead and do it properly.

Chiropractors treat problems with joints, bones and muscles and the effects they have on the nervous system.

Working on all the joints of the body, concentrating particularly on the spine, they use their hands to make often gentle, specific adjustments (the chiropractic word for manipulation). This is to improve the efficiency of the nervous system and release the body's natural healing ability. The work of chiropractors does not involve the use of any drugs or surgery.

Chiropractor Tim Higgins, from Eastbourne, has several tips for people to keep them safe.

He said: "Reach for the sky - if you are planning on painting a ceiling - think about getting the largest amount of paint on in the shortest space of time.

"Use a paint pad or roller with an extended handle and hold it at chest height. Keep your head as neutral as possible and keep facing forward so you don't over-exert your neck. Don't twist. If you have to use a ladder, always face it and move the ladder regularly. Always keep your shoulders, hips and knees pointing in the same direction.

"Don't start with heavy-duty gardening. Start with the lighter jobs such as mowing the lawn and then move on. If you are pruning, use long-handled secateurs and get as close to the plants as you can. If laying a patio, keep the slab close to your body and bend your knees. It is sometimes better to bend one knee rather than two, as your supporting leg gives you a position of strength.

"Treat DIY like normal exercise and make sure you warm up and down. Dress appropriately and don't wear tight, constricting clothes "Vary your activity. Spend no more than 20-30 minutes on any one thing and take regular breaks.

"If you are planning a trip to the local DIY store and buying heavy items such as cement, buy more, smaller bags rather than one big bag. Smaller items are easier and safer to carry. Pain is a warning sign, do not ignore it - if you start to ache, stop what you are doing. If the pain continues, see a BCA chiropractor."

Mr Higgins says that if people take care with DIY, they should be able to avoid wear and tear on their bodies.

He said: "Like tooth decay, degeneration of your joints begins without your knowing. As with the hard skin that forms on an often-rubbed toe, it happens slowly - to all of us.

"The general wear and tear of a lifetime results in joints laying down extra areas of bone in an attempt to support the damaged area.

"Generally, our bodies compensate for this and we feel little or no pain - even if the wear and tear is quite advanced. However, slight loss of proper movement in a worn joint may cause nerve irritation and inflammation, which could lead to pain. It is why we say to people not to ignore any pain but stop what they are doing."

If you need any further advice or to find details of your local BCA chiropractor, contact the BCA on 0118 950 5950 or visit