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Why the Backache from Parenthood?

Before you have children, you often hear about feeling a love like you’ve never felt before! You also hear about the sleepless nights and tantruming toddlers. But the one thing that might surprise you is the backache that can come along with parenthood, particularly for moms.

Why are backaches particularly a problem for moms? 

After delivering a child, it is extremely common for a woman to have a compromised and weakened core. This will increase a mom’s likelihood of back pain even if she hadn’t experienced it prior to delivery. It is very common for the stabilizing muscles of the lumbar spine to become “inhibited” meaning less active when protecting the spine after delivering a child.

Mothers who delivered via c-section often have an even harder time contracting their core muscles to protect their back when bending because of the trauma to the muscles during surgery.

What makes things more of a pain in the back is that holding a child gets progressively harder as your child’s weight increases. Your growing child creates a new experience and physical challenge for most people’s back and will typically increase risk of injury or pain. 

What can I do to alleviate back pain related to holding my child? 

Practice lifting the child with your hips and legs instead of bending to lift the child with your back.

Do CORE exercises that are designed to provide spinal stability in the low back. 

Use hip stretches that focus on increasing the mobility of the hips so that they can bend and move easier when lifting your child. This puts less load on the low back. 

Dr. Murphy will often suggest that the patient work with one of my massage therapists to address the pain in the back muscles.

Is there a proper way to hold my child to prevent back pain?

Practice the proper technique of a deadlift exercise with a healthcare provider. Also, hold your child on both sides of the body, not just on one side. We get into trouble when we develop the bad habit of just using our dominant arm or just using the non-dominant arm so that the dominant arm is free for other tasks. It will cause overuse of muscles and joints and will not allow the body to share the workload like it could if you remember to switch arms/sides of your body.

Will it help if I use a baby sling or baby carrier? 

Baby slings and baby carriers can also help reduce back pain by distributing the weight of the baby through more of your body, but they are best used like crutches. “Use them when we need them due to pain or injury and then work towards getting rid of them.” Ultimately the goal is to get your back strong again to prevent future injury.

When should I seek advice from a professional?

Take action immediately to see your chiropractor or physical therapist to work on strengthening your low back and mobilizing your hips. The problem most likely won’t go away on its own. 

Learn More!

If you would like to explore whether taping is an option for you, call us at (203) 580-3232.

Find information here about what to expect during your first visit. Initial visits last one hour so that we have time to thoroughly assess your complaints and determine the best course of action. This initial evaluation helps us to determine the specific cause of your symptoms. From there, we can develop a unique treatment plan tailored to helping you heal as quickly as possible. 

Follow us on Instagram, @stamford.spine for more chiropractic tips!

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