Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: January 18, 2021
On our blog, we’ve talked a lot about how expecting mothers and new mothers can work to prevent and treat back pain, but there’s one group that we haven’t talked much about until now – new dads! Welcoming a child to your family is a blessing, but it can also be physically daunting for your health, and that’s true for mothers and fathers. To learn more about how a new child can affect a mother’s spine, check out some of the blogs above, but below we’re going to focus on how a child can lead to back pain in new fathers, and how to prevent it from happening.
Fatherhood and Back Pain
Obviously fatherhood does not come with the bodily changes that mothers go through, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be physically challenging. Here’s a look at some of the ways that becoming a father can put extra stress on your spine.
- Holding The Baby – Even though your new bundle of joy only weighs a few pounds, they are only going to get heavier and they love being held and rocked. This added stress will be channeled through your arms and be felt in your spine. You’re going to want to hold your baby, so make sure your exercise routine incorporates spine and core exercises to help ensure these muscles can handle this new stress. Also, try to vary whether you’re standing or sitting when holding the baby, as well as how the baby is positioned in your arms, so that stress isn’t always channeled through your body in the same manner.
- Diet – Whether you’re stress eating because of the changes in your life or you’re finding less free time to cook healthy meals, it’s not uncommon for men to put on a little baby weight. Really strive to meal plan and make healthy food choices for you and your family so that you’re not putting on extra weight, because this will just lead to more stress on the spine. Be mindful of your eating habits when you become a father, and don’t start falling into unhealthy habits.
- Exercise – Similarly, it can be harder for you to find time to exercise when caring for a new baby. While it may be tougher to get away to the gym for an extended session, still make time for moderate intensity exercise on a regular basis. There are countless home-based exercises you can perform from the comfort of your home without any exercise equipment, so find a new routine that works for you and your spine if you don’t have as much free time for a traditional workout.
- Sleep – If you’re not getting enough quality sleep, inflammation can develop and cause problems for spinal nerves and structures. Now obviously saying that you should strive for eight uninterrupted hours of sleep each night is easier said than done, especially if you’re dealing with a new baby. All we can say is make your bedroom an ideal sleep environment so that it’s easier to fall asleep and stay asleep, and don’t be afraid to nap when the situation permits it. You’re going to be tired, and it’s going to be tough to get restorative sleep every day, but know that days and weeks of inadequate sleep can have physical effects on your spine, so improve your sleep if your back begins to hurt.
- Bending – You might find yourself bending in and out of a crib to pick up and lay your child down, and all that bending can take a toll on your spine. Make sure you are bending at the knees and not at the waist when possible, and if you have an adjustable crib, have it so the mattress can be at a higher but still safe position so you don’t need to bend deep in the crib to reach your child.
And if you’re a new dad who is now experiencing new back pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan.