As a parent you are warned about sleepless nights, teenage years and the constant stress. But the possibility of increased back pain is often overlooked.
Carrying children, picking up toys, increased stress levels and less sleep could all contribute to back pain and discomfort. Parenting requires constant dynamic use of the body and mind.
But, finding the time to take care of your body and mind can be a real challenge. Did you know that your back ache, neck pain and more could be as a result of postural imbalance? Your pain could be down to your poor posture.
Why is posture important?
- Improved circulation
- Better sleep
- Complete respiration
- Balancing muscles and joints
- Help efficiency of organs
Commonly, parents with young children suffer with persistent back pain. Carrying a baby, the nappy bag and pushing a pram are all physical strains. This only increases as a child increases in weight. Bending over changing nappies, picking up toys and chasing around a toddler are all contributing factors when it comes to back pain.
It’s the persistent small movement that can incur a larger problem over time. Unfamiliar movements, like holding a child, become a daily and consistent occurrence that your body is expected to suddenly keep up with.
Dinner needs to be cooked, school uniforms need to be washed and children need to be supported. Life is so busy. Parents famously put themselves at the bottom of the list in terms of priority. But, here are some simple and manageable tips to try and include in your daily routine. Sorting out your posture is a long-term, manageable solution to potentially easing tension and reducing pain.
This will ultimately help you keep up with the fast-paced, physical and mental strains of being a parent.
- CARRYING YOUR BABY/TODDLER
Carrying a child is a huge part of daily life for parents. But have you actually considered how you do this? If you are doing a deadlift at the gym, there is a methodical process to protect the knees, lower back and rest of the body.
When you consider carrying a child, you are essentially carrying a heavy weight.
- KNEES – when picking up your baby or toddler from their cot, the floor or any time you have to bend over be sure to bend your knees. Keep your back straight, feet hip width apart and hold your baby close to your body
- Try a cot that allows the sides to come down preventing this extended bending movement
- If you decide to use a sling, try to ensure if criss-crosses across the back so the weight of the baby can be distributed more evenly (always read instructions)
- If carrying your baby without a sling try to keep the baby’s weight close to your body and to your hip. Ensure your spine is straight. Swap sides regularly.
We get it – choosing a pram is exciting! Bejeweled, funky patterns, animal print or sleek there are countless options to go with. However, it’s important to consider how the pram affects YOU.
- Looks and brand aside, try to choose a pram which has adjustable height settings. This allows the pram to be appropriate for various users.
- Ideally, you should be able to walk upright when pushing the pram with your hands resting comfortably.
- Ensuring the pram is simple to collapse and carry is also a must. Try to eliminate any element that could make the pram more physically demanding for you. Is it uncomfortable to carry? Does it require you to contort yourself to get it to collapse? It sounds intense – but it’s very much worth considering!
- Make sure you take the time to find a model that works to support you physically – if it’s leopard print that’s an added bonus!
- PRIORITISING POSTURE
Its important to realise and remember how important your posture is to your overall health.
- Keeping fit! Its the age-old tale but making sure you keep active, fit and mobile is crucial. Go for that extra walk, do a jog or maybe try some yoga!
- Try a backpack instead of a tote style bag – this spreads the weight across your back. Small changes like this can add up when it comes to maintaining good posture.
- Move as much as you can. Prolonged periods of sitting are one of the main causes of postural imbalance. When the kids have gone to bed, its tempting to cosy up on the sofa for the rest of the evening. Try and incorporate a 10 minute yoga session or a session on PostureKey into your quieter moments!
- We get it – 10 minutes to yourself is a huge ask when you are a parent. But, PostureKey could be the answer to those persistent back issues and offer a solution to the added stress of being a parent in 2021. Just 15 minutes a day lying on the two-piece could be the answer to your growing pain and tension.
Being a parent is a huge physical and mental challenge. The rewards are immense but it’s important to remember to put yourself on the list of priorities. Take the time to engage with your physical and mental health. PostureKey is a great way to check in with both daily.
Always consult your medical practitioner.