Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: January 16, 2019
Parenting will probably be the hardest job you’ve ever had in your life, but it can also be very physically demanding on your body. One area of your body that takes a lot of stress over the years while you’re providing care for your children is your spine. From bending over to pick them up to getting on your knees for playtime or bathtime, caring for children will take a toll on your back.
With that said, if you’re aware of some of the activities that challenge your spine the most, you can help to prevent back problems from setting in. Today, we share some tips for parents and childcare providers to help keep their spines pain free.
Protecting Your Back While Parenting
Keep these tips in mind as your kids get older to help keep your spine young and healthy.
- Bending Basics – If you’re caring for young children, you’re going to spend a lot of time bending over to pick them up off the floor or to take them in and out of their crib. Protect your back by making sure you’re bending with your knees and not at the waist. The added stress of the weight of your child can cause you to strain or sprain a spinal muscle if you’re using improper lifting techniques.
- Playing Posture – You may also find yourself on the ground playing with your kids, or sitting in a sandbox building castles. You may not be used to sitting or kneeling on the floor, but if you sit in such a way that stresses your spine, you’re going to feel it in the morning. Sit so that your head and neck are positioned directly above your shoulders, as this will help to protect your cervical spine.
- Carrying Kids – When holding and carrying your kids, hold them against your chest. If you’re carrying them off to one side or on a hip, it will lead to postural imbalances that can cause spine pain. Support your child with both hands, or better yet, put on a baby carrier so that a device and not your body is shouldering their weight.
- Feeding – One area where parents don’t realize they often strain their spine is during meal times. If you’re constantly leaning forward to help feed your child, your spine is going to be working overtime. Make sure you have a supportive chair, and be cognizant of how often you’re leaning forward to assist your little one. If you’re still nursing, the same plan applies. Sit in a supportive chair and consider using a nursing pillow to support your child.
- Sleeping – Sleep can be hard to come by with a young child, but it’s very important for your spine. While we can’t control how often your child wakes up in the middle of the night, you can help to make it so you fall asleep and stay asleep while they’re sleeping. Avoid distractions in the bedroom, like television or your iPad, and avoid caffeinated beverages later in the day. If you can get restful sleep while your child is sleeping, your spine can rejuvenate from the rigors of the day.
For more tips, or to talk to a back specialist about your pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.