My kids are killing my back – Struggling with back pain?
Your working weeks activity can be dramatically different to your weekends, especially if you are struggling with back pain and juggling children. Parents naturally put their children first, rather than taking care of themselves. This can lead to disaster if the discomfort escalates.
8+ hours a day Monday to Friday at your desk, with weekends packed full of child related activity can be a challenging balancing act.
- Chasing then through soft play (you thought you were flexible!)
- Sweeping lego off the floor (while wincing in pain)
- Leaning over bath tub (then struggling to return to an upright position)
- Changing nappies
Is there any wonder both men and women suffer with back pain. Bodies need time to gently adapt to changes in activity levels, just as you would if you were training for a marathon. It’s important to find time for your bodies. If your physical health is suffering how can you take care of your family?
The easiest and most sensible action to take is preventative. Here are some top tips if you are struggling with back pain.
Lifting and bending
As with lifting anything adopting a good squatting technique to protect your body and avoid injury is key. Use your whole body, hip hinge, bend your knees and use your gluts to propel your movement upwards not forwards. Learn some top squatting tips clicking here.
Low level play
When on the floor with your children sit with your back straight or kneel with a straight back. You may find it useful to sit against the sofa if you are struggling with back pain.
Carrying your baby
Where possible carry your baby facing out in the middle of your body (correctly fastened baby carriers can be useful for prolonged carrying). Straps need to be fastened to the person to suit their ergonomics.
Be careful if your baby is too young to support their own head and neck. If this is the case they will need to be positioned in a way to support their head during the early months which may not mean facing out. There are some ‘sling libraries’ in London which you can visit to get advice on whats right for you and trial them before you buy, our nearest is ‘Sling Library East London’.
Keep your baby carrier above your hips.
Your baby’s hips also need attention. It is recommended they are in the ‘frog leg’ position this helps encourage the correct hip development and reduces the chance of hip development issues.
- Thigh should be supported to the knee joint.
- Spreading the legs minimises the forces on the hip joint and stabilises the hip position.
- Visiting ‘East London sling library‘ is a great way to select a carrier that fits you and your baby correctly.
Pushing your pram
Adjust pram handles to the level of your belly button, pushing with relaxed shoulders and slightly bent elbows. Drawing your belly button in towards the spine helps engage your core (you should still be able to talk).
Use pillow to support the baby when breast feeding. Setting up a ‘breastfeeding station’ at home can make things easier so cushions are in the right place when you are ready to breastfeed.
There are some great car seats designed not only to position your baby better and safer but also to help you out. The swivel action of the lie flat car seat in this blog allows you to avoid twisting.
When your children are walking
Encourage them to walk to you and climb onto your lap rather than lifting, twisting and bending while carrying them. When getting them into the car again encourage them to help you when possible.
Surviving the weekend while struggling with back pain can be challenging. As a parent you will most probably find yourself putting your children first. Just remember though if you’re not ok you are limited as to how much you can help your children. At KH Chiropractic we treat many parents with busy lifestyles mixing up hours working at a desk and doubling up as a children’s climbing frame at weekends!
If you think it’s time to have some back pain treatment book online now or call us on 0203 633 0565.