Are you one of those new mom and dad with back pain which does not seem to go away . Everyday you cuddle with your newborn , hold them and move around, and day by day you get to notice that your back pain is increasing and becoming frustrating .
If you are one of those new parents being burdened with back pain each day , then make sure you read this important blog to ensure you aren’t making it worse .
Low back pain is a very common problem . We all go through this pain and we do tend to avoid it until it becomes really worse . Also someone with no history of back pain, can also easily get a back pain if you are doing repetitive bending and lifting.
This can be easily related to new parents who have developed back pain until they notice that lifting and holding their newborn became very challenging and uncomfortable .Well if you are a new parent ! Then this is for you . You don’t want to miss this.
When your baby is a few days old you may not even notice the pain . However , as they start growing you will notice that your pain is more obvious than you can imagine .Interestingly, new born babies are somewhere between 7-10 lb and can easily weigh upto 15 to 30 lbs just within less than a year . You may not even imagine you would get a back pain holding them . The fact is yes ! You can easily get back pain if you don’t have correct biomechanics and enough strength and endurance on your back and core .
Now let’s see what are the common mistakes we make and how we can correct our body mechanics and enjoy parenthood and have fun at the same time.
Avoid bending your back while Holding and lifting
Your baby is the most precious thing and you are constantly around them. Feeding and nursing them, lifting and changing diapers are some constant routines you will be doing . Firstly , avoid bending forward and sustaining that forward bend position for long . Instead of using your spine to bend forward use your hip and knees to off load your spine . Gently bend your hips and knees , tighten your tummy to build that little corset around and see for yourself how easy this can be .Also while handling the stroller , make sure you are not pushing it leaning forward .Make sure you are standing not too close and not to far while pushing the stroller to find that balance on your spine to avoid exertion and pain .
Stay close while lifting and avoid twisting your supine.
It’s so exciting to be a new mom and dad ,and forget about how you are maintaining your body mechanics while holding your bundle of joy. Position yourself as close as possible while lifting them so that you avoid exerting your back muscles from over working and getting sore and tight. Stay close and avoid lifting while standing if your baby is resting on the lower levels like on the floor . You can choose to kneel and sit on your legs allowing your hip to bend while you are lifting them on your arms . Now another important thing is while holding the car seat, be mindful if you are leaning more on one side and over compensating for weak and sore muscles . This will trigger more pain if not right away may be at the end of the day .
Remember when you are transporting your baby in and out of the car make sure you are not bending and leaning way forward , avoid twisting and again use your hips and knees to avoid loading your spine .
Avoid holding your baby’s on your waist /hip
Sometimes, we like multitasking , say you are in a kitchen and need an extra hand , or say you have to answer a phone and you do not want your baby or toddler on the floor . What is the most easy thing to do ?. Hold them on your hips ! This habit might actually create a huge muscle imbalance of those deep muscles just above your pelvis and can trigger muscle spasm and tightness. These deep muscles are very responsive and are constantly working to hold your spine upright . Instead, try using the body strap that holds your baby on the front .
Avoid repetitive handling and give yourself a break .
As a new parent , the most important factor that triggers your back pain is repetitive and sustained routines you do. Pace yourself and give your muscles enough time to relax before you get into another routine . I know it’s difficult to even think about all this while you are in front of them , however this is important that you are aware of this fact.
Your muscles are in constant strain during repetitive tasks and may not even heal back enough repeating the cycle of never ending on going cycle of pain.
Start exercising and avoid being sedentary
When I say start exercising , I am referring to specific exercises that help strengthen your back and core. In terms of exercise, It’s always recommended to have an expert assess you as we all are different in terms of our strength and endurance . Some of the exercises can be categorized as core stability exercises which is recommended mostly for 8 weeks. Sitting and not finding time for a walk also triggers back pain . Our body is designed to move and if we move them correctly we can always avoid back pain .There might be few things that cannot be avoided at times but having a regular strengthening Exs does balance it out and makes a great difference
You don’t have to put up with low back pain . We hear from our patients that they have put up with the pain , changed their lives and relied on medication and injections for nothing more than short term relief if they are lucky. We have been successfully helping our patients with low back pain and we get great results. Our patients feel confident and happy to get back into enjoying time with their newborn babies and toddlers by avoiding few simple mistakes they do .
If you need further help for your ongoing back pain then click HERE to book an appointment or give us a call at 905-457-7475 so we can get you back to doing what you want to do and what you love.
I honestly want you to get rid of this pain and back to doing the things you love.
Robert Kappes, Registered Physiotherapist
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*Blog written by Bimala Odari