Parents of babies and young children strain their bodies in the care of their little ones. Not much time is spared for how you’re contorting your body or moving in the wrong ways to tend to your child. If you’re experiencing chronic back pain, neck pain, or other physical discomfort, you can easily pinpoint a source of that pain.
Here are just 10 reasons parents have back pain:
- Bending and lifting. Bending to lift a child from their crib, out of the highchair, or off the floor can pull your back, especially as your child gets bigger and heavier, or as he or she scurries away from you causing you to reach while lifting.
- Buckling into the car seat. Parents twist themselves in unnatural positions to get their kids in the car seat. If your child is wriggling to get out of their seat, you will reach to pull them back in. Depending on the type of vehicle you have and how low the seat is, you will likely be leaning over and turning from your waist at the same time which can put strain on your back.
- Baby wearing. Those pouches you put your baby in can be incredibly convenient and helpful, especially if you’re practicing attachment parenting or have a child who likes to stay close as much as possible. Infancy might make this activity seem easy, but as your child gets heavier, so does the pull on your back and neck, whether you wear baby on your back or front.
- Breastfeeding. Nursing moms often usually specially designed nursing pillows to help keep baby and themselves in comfortable positions. Unfortunately, moms often unconsciously lean forward while nursing, rounding their back and interfering with good posture.
- Quick moves. There isn’t a parent who hasn’t had to engage catlike reflexes to grab a falling, wobbling, or fast-moving child as well as the items they drop or throw. These sudden stretches can cause strain and sprains.
- Bedtime acrobatics. Parents will do just about anything to get their child to sleep, even if this means freezing in one “magic” position once your child’s eyelids finally shut. The minor inconvenience of an unnatural position will turn into major discomfort after a short time and strain your spine, back, and neck.
- Holding. How many things do you do with one arm and hand because you’re holding a child with your other arm? Simply carrying your baby on your hip or belly – as you multitask cooking dinner or changing another child or doing housework or anything else – can cause major strain.
- Leaning. You lean over to feed your child, to pick up their playthings, to wash them in the tub. The leaning, oh the leaning. It can hurt your back in the moment and, eventually, hurt chronically.
- Using a stroller. Getting your child in and out of the stroller engages the leaning and bending and lifting action. And some strollers just aren’t ergonomically correct, especially if you’re a tall parent. Slouching to make yourself more “comfortable” while pushing the stroller will actually through your spine out of alignment and strain muscles and ligaments.
- Giving birth. Pregnancy and giving birth can alter a woman’s pelvic alignment, therefore putting pressure on the vertebrae and nerves of the lower back. Going into parenthood with misalignment doesn’t bode well for all that’s to come.
Getting the body back into proper alignment, at any point in parenthood, is the smart way to a healthier back, but to better health overall. Functional medicine practitioners understand the interconnective web that is the human body, and how different parts of the body affect each other and work together. If something is out of whack, you will suffer.
Parenting can throw your back out in so many ways, and slipped discs, bulging discs, and ruptured discs can eventually lead to pain and numbness in your hips and legs too. The problem will only worsen over time. Enjoy your child and your busy parenthood – get help with back pain or neck pain from the Restorative Wellness Center in Ann Arbor. Schedule a consultation with the Restorative Wellness Center in Ann Arbor and talk to Dr. Daniel Geck. Putting yourself first and making sure you’re a parent who is pain-free is a good thing for you and your child.