The Seven Ages of Back Pain
1. During pregnancy – As the baby grows your centre of gravity begins to shift and the core muscles get stretched making it more difficult for them to support the lower back during the lifting process. Extra laxity in the ligaments also means that the lower back and pelvis is in danger of having an acute episode. Common areas of pain are to one side of the spine or at the top of the buttock.2. With a newborn – When the baby is small you would imagine that lifting is easy but there is a lot of paraphernalia that goes with a newborn. The pram, the changing bag, the car seat, not to mention bending to the cot or Moses basket to pick up a distressed child. Then there is the carrying – all parents will know the subconscious and mildly disturbing rocking that occurs (even when you are not holding the baby). Holding even a very light infant for prolonged periods of time is very hard work for the muscles of the arms, shoulders, neck and back especially if you are not accustomed to doing so.
3. Pre-toddlers – The baby is getting his or her personality and becoming heavier as they are eating more solid food and building their own muscles by learning to crawl and stand. The lifting required has also changed. Heavier lifting and often from the floor (or under the table!) means that it may not be possible to get in the correct position to lift making it more likely that your back will suffer.
4. Toddlers – Even heavier and now a new challenge … walking and running. This means you have to keep an eye on them at all times and often have to grab them before they run off in the street or bolt for the hot cup of coffee. Now your body ends up contorting itself wildly to halt a weighty, fast moving child – recipe for disaster in back terms.
5. Pre-school – Hopefully the children will now be a little more obedient and are not so prone to running off and due to their walking ability and weight lifting becomes heavier but more infrequent and of shorter duration. Up onto the kitchen counter to put a plaster on a skinned knee and up over country gates when required. Cuddles are done sitting down though hauling a child up onto your lap from the ground can put an enormous strain on the sacro-iliac joints in the pelvis.
6. School Years – Lifting of children is seldom required now but there are bikes to get in and out of the boot of the car and play fights to have on the living room floor. The child is too heavy to lift now apart from the odd piggy back when its really muddy or way past bed time. There is also more time now to get back into the sports and activities you used to do but remember you have not done them for quite a long time and adjust the intensity and duration of the exercise accordingly.
7. Grandparents – Far from being immune from the pain children can cause to a back the grandparents can be in even more danger if they are not around all the time. Children grow quickly and if you don’t lift them regularly your back will not be ‘match fit’ and the shock to the back and neck can be significant when an excited child launches themselves at you upon arrival at your house.
Fortunately, at Back to Health we understand the pain being a parent can cause. And we can help you get back to being pain free – as you like it!