5 Ways to avoid backache while with your newborn
Consider the fact that parents may be lifting a 7-10 pound baby 50 times a day. By 12 months, your baby weighs approximately 17 pounds, and at 2 years, that child has become a 25-30 pound toddler. The repetitive lifting of your child may put you at risk for back problems.
What’s a parent to do? Well, here are some simple tips that can help parents avoid some common
aches and pains.
Stand with your feet at least a shoulder width apart. Keep your back in neutral position and bend your
knees. Bring your baby as close to your chest as possible, and then lift using both arms.
When carrying your little one, pivot with your feet instead of twisting your back. This will ensure that
you’re turning with your hips, which will reduce your risk of back pain. Lower your child into the crib
or onto the floor by bending at the knees, with a neutral back.
Hold your child in an upright position, directly against your chest. Carrying a child on one hip
creates postural imbalances that can lead to low back pain over time.
Always sit in a chair with back support and avoid leaning forward to reach your newborn’s mouth. Instead, use pillows or blankets to support and position your baby closer to you.
Exercise can help increase muscle support for your aching back. While your baby is enjoying tummy time, join them on the floor and do some exercises to help strengthen your core.
There is no time for back pain in parenthood. Talk to your chiropractor about specific
exercises to stretch and strengthen your muscles so that you can stay on your toes and a
step ahead of your toddler.
4 Exercise to relieve your new mom back aches
While carrying your bundle of joy for nine months, your abdominal muscles have stretched to make room for delivery. This is a common cause of back pain in new moms because your back muscles now have to work overtime to support your spine and keep you upright.
Here are 4 core exercises you can do with your little one to help decrease the ache.
Lie on your back, bend your knees and put your feet flat on the ground. Place your baby on your pelvis
with their back against your thighs. While holding your baby in place, slowly push your hips up towards the
ceiling. Hold this position for 3 to 5 seconds. Keep your abdominals tight to avoid sagging your lower back. Inhale as you slowly lower your body back to the starting position. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
Lay your baby on the ground, face up, while kneeling in front of them. Place your forearms on either side of your baby and lift your body off the ground. Keep your back in neutral spine position and engage your core by contracting your abdominal muscles. Avoid letting your hips fall or stick up in the air. Hold for 10 seconds, working
your way up to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
Laying on your back, bend your knees at a 90 degree angle with your feet in the air. Stabilize your baby so they are resting on your shins and hold onto their hands. Engage your core and hold this position for 10 seconds, working your way up to 30 seconds. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
ARM & LEG EXTENSIONS
Get down on all fours with your baby lying on their back and parallel to your chest. Engage your core and
slowly lift and extend your left arm and right leg at the same time while maintaining a neutral spine position.
Hold this position for 3 seconds, then lower your limbs and give your baby’s belly a tickle as you return to
starting position. Repeat on the opposite side, lifting right arm and left leg. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
Before getting back to business, consult your postnatal practitioner and get cleared to return to exercise. You’ll also want to make sure that your newborn can hold their head up on their own if you’re going to include them in these exercises. If your back pain prevents you from performing these exercises or persists after trying them, visit your chiropractor to develop a treatment plan for your recovery.
Did you know that at least half of pregnant women experience back pain? And 10% of those report discomfort severe enough to disrupt their daily routines. The good news is that there are steps you can take to protect your
back during pregnancy.
What causes pregnancy-related back pain in the first place?
When pregnant, it’s normal to gain more than 30 pounds. This extra weight places considerable stress on
your back, feet, ankles and knees. As your baby grows, your core abdominal muscles become stretched and
cannot stabilize your posture as well as they did before.
In the third trimester, levels of a hormone called “relaxin” increase by a factor of ten. Relaxin loosens your
joints to allow the pelvis to accommodate the enlarging uterus. These loose joints force the muscles of the
back and pelvis to work overtime to keep you upright and balanced, leading to back pain.
Try these tips to Help minimize your risk of back pain:
Exercise can go a long way to increase muscle support for an aching back. A health care practitioner should always be consulted before starting a new exercise regimen. Low impact cardiovascular activities, such as swimming, walking, or stationary cycling can help relieve pain and maintain fitness.
Sleep on your left side to reduce the pressure of your uterus on the large blood vessels in your abdomen, optimizing blood flow to both you and the baby.
Place a pillow between your knees to take pressure off your lower back when sleeping on your side.
SUPPORT YOUR BODY
With the added weight, support has never been more important. Wear flat, supportive shoes and use a lumbar support pillow in your chair at home or work. If you sit at a computer or desk, walk around for a few minutes each
Take frequent, short breaks with your feet elevated. Adequate rest restores your energy and gives your back a chance to relax.
Lack of sleep is no joke and getting a good night’s rest is important. We spend about one- third of our lives sleeping, so getting the most out of it is important. Preventing stress or worries that keep you up at night may be difficult, but a few simple lifestyle and nutritional changes can help you wake-up feeling refreshed.
For a good night’s rest
1. When choosing a mattress, look for one that is comfortably supportive. A mattress should be flexible enough to adapt to your body’s shape, while providing firm support for your spine. Your mattress should be replaced every 8 to 12 years to ensure the proper support and comfort.
2. Be selective when choosing a pillow. When lying on your side, your head, neck and shoulders should remain level with your mid and lower spine. When lying on your back, your head and neck should remain level with your upper back and spine.
3. Your sleeping position is also an important factor in how you will feel when you wake-up. Lying on your back or side allows your head, neck and spine to relax into their natural alignment.
4. Have low back pain? Try sleeping on your back and place a pillow under your knees to take some of the pressure off your back.
Things to keep in mind
1. Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, colas and tea in the evening. Caffeine is a stimulant and can make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
2. Try to go to bed at the same time everyday. This includes weekends! This will help to keep your sleep cycle in a regular rhythm.
3. Expose yourself to bright light/sunlight soon after you wake up. This will help to regulate your body’s natural biological clock.
4. Avoid looking at the clock if you happen to wake in the middle of the night. This can cause added anxiety and keep you awake even longer.
5. If you can’t fall asleep after 30 minutes of trying, get out of bed and do something boring in dim light until you become sleepy.
If you’re still experiencing trouble sleeping, consult with a chiropractor to discuss what treatments may help improve your quality of sleep.
Let’s face it. Between dropping the kids off to soccer practice and being swamped with work assignments, it can be difficult to find time to manage lingering aches and pain. If you’d like to avoid a trip to the doctor’s office or spending money on workout equipment, here is a low cost approach to solving discomfort using items lying around your house.
It turns out that these petite dimpled balls can be used for more than a game-winning putt. Just roll the ball under your foot while seated to help relieve tension in sore feet.
Standing against a wall, place a tennis ball between your back and the wall. Slowly move up and down or side to side to help work out tension in your back or shoulders.
Forget expensive ice packs. Frozen vegetables are a great alternative and will form to fit different parts of your body.
Tight thigh muscles are common in runners, walkers and other athletes. Roll a rolling pin up and down along the front or side of your thigh to help relieve this tension.
If you sit at a desk all day, you may feel tension in your back or chest from slouching. To help relieve the pain, place a rolled towel on the floor. Sit at one end, facing away from the roll. Slowly lay back so that the roll is under your spine, supporting you from the neck to the lower back. Relax in this position for one minute, feeling a stretch across your chest and the front of your shoulders. To avoid straining your neck while in this position, rest your head on the roll or place a pillow at the end of the roll for more support.
These tips may not completely eliminate pain from your life, but try them for a few weeks and you’ll likely feel less discomfort. Recurrent pain can affect your quality of life, but learning how to cope with it can help you manage its harmful impact. A chiropractor can diagnose the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan in order to get you back to doing the things you love to do.
As you read this article, more than likely on your phone or tablet, take a moment to notice your posture. There’s a good chance that your back is hunched, your head is tilted forward and your shoulders are rounded. When school season starts many students from grade school to university will be spending a large portion of their day looking at a screen as they text friends, read e-books and write essays. Be sure to keep an eye on your posture during these activities. Your back and neck will thank you.
Did you know that bending your head to look at your phone can put up to 60 pounds of pressure on your spine? A 2014 study in Surgical Technology International showed that even a 15-degree head tilt adds 27 pounds of pressure. As we use our phones and laptops more and more, that stress adds up!
Hand-held devices aren’t going anywhere soon — they’re useful and convenient. As you tap and swipe, follow these tips to avoid the aches and pains that come with the digital age.
Take a break
Holding up your phone or tablet for extended periods of time can strain the muscles in your shoulders, arms and fingers. Let your arms rest at your sides every so often.
The 20-20-20 rule
Give your eyes a break! Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look about 20 feet ahead (or as far as possible).
Next time you’re thinking of pulling an all-nighter, try to avoid sitting for longer than 30 minutes at a time. Get up and walk around!
Raise your phone up closer to eye level to reduce strain on your neck. When watching lectures on your tablet or laptop, be sure to prop it up against something so your shoulders and arms can relax.
Stretch it outSlowly turn your head towards your left shoulder, hold for five seconds and repeat on your right side. You can also download Straighten Up Canada! — a free app developed by Canada’s chiropractors with videos of stretches you can do to help your posture in just three minutes!
The only thing that’s more important than “perfect” posture is movement. If you still have pain and discomfort after trying these tips, visit a chiropractor to develop a plan to keep you pain-free in the classroom.
Fit-in 15 is designed to give you simple choices that will put you on the path to fitting fitness activities into your lifestyle – starting with just 15 minutes day. The Fit-in 15 program was developed by Canada’s Doctors of Chiropractic, experts in muscle and joint function, and champions of healthy living. They recognize that it can be hard to find time in a busy day to focus on physical activity. That’s why they created Fit-in 15, an easy and manageable way to start the habit. Once Fit-in 15 becomes a regular part of your day, you may find yourself fitting in more.
Is Fit-in 15 For Me? Fit-in 15 is for people who want to become more fit, but just can’t seem to find the time. Take a quick quiz to see if Fit-in 15 is for you. Click here
My Fit-in 15 Build your own 15 minutes from a menu of simple no-cost activities that target strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. Click here
Making It Easy Practical tips for staying motivated and making Fit-in 15 work for you. Click here
You may find that as the weather gets colder, you may experience more aches and pains, and even feel like your muscles are stiffer. This is even more evident for workers who work outside in the winter, or individuals with certain ailments. The cold weather can increase the risk of suffering from musculoskeletal (MSK i.e. muscle, tendon, ligament and joint related issues) injuries and can even increase the intensity of certain MSK conditions.
How Can the Cold Weather Impact Us?
If you live with an arthritic condition you might find that your symptoms may be exacerbated by cold weather conditions, which can keep you away from doing the activities you enjoy. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis may not react well to sudden weather or atmospheric changes, which may worsen symptoms1.
Even without any specific conditions, most of us are very aware of how our bodies feel and move when we are cold – we may move slower and walk around when our muscles are tense and stiff. This can result in soreness that we may not experience otherwise. For those who work outside, be conscious of your working conditions. Feeling warm, safe and comfortable is important as heavy lifting and overexertion can increase risk of injury in colder temperatures2.
Here are a few things that can be done to prevent stiffness and MSK-related injuries during the winter months3:
The winter months shouldn’t keep you from doing the things you love, or keep you indoors in pain. Keep active and dress warmly, and you may be able to minimize the aches and pains of the season. Your chiropractor can also help you manage your condition-related pain during the winter months, and help you prevent MSK conditions if you work outdoors.
Exercise and tips for staying active: