Parenting Related Injuries and How To Prevent and Care For Them

My little Cog has been growing up so fast. She still enjoys cuddles as much as she always has though. The downside, however, is that the bigger she gets, the more strain it puts on my body to carry her around or pick her up. I adore cuddling Cog; but lately, I’ve been feeling really really sore! My back, my shoulders, my hips… they have been stiff and achy. Parent-related injuries are actually really common. Constantly lifting your kid, bending over to chase them, cleaning toys off the floor… It eventually takes it’s toll, just like any other Repetitive Stress Injury.

RSI, PRI, Parenting Injury, Parent Related Injury, Chronic Pain, Care

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, a physiotherapist, a chiropractor or any other professional on the human body. This is just based on my experience and personal research. If you have any concerns about pain, consult your doctor.

What Kind of Injuries Am I At Risk For

Wrist injuries (‘Mothers wrist’ is the most common)
Hip Problems
Back Problems (from stiffness, to totally thrown out)
Neck Pain
Shoulder Pain

What Can I Do To Help Current Pain

Doing stretches on the sore muscles or joints is a great start. I like to do stretches with my shoulders, hips and back because I find those spots carry the most strain. Keep your stretches low impact. Trying out some yoga poses, or physiotherapy exercises. Make sure to exercise your core muscles, a strong core goes a long way in keeping the rest of your body safe from injury.

I generally stick to easy poses like the cat, warrior, triangle, and child poses. As for stretches doing arm circles, neck rolls, and the cross-body arm stretch. I find it’s much easier to pick from poses and stretches that you are familiar with, because you are more likely to keep up your routine that way.

What Is Harmful and What Can I Do To Prevent Long-Term Pain

Proper posture and lifting techniques are key.

Carrying your car seat can cause back and shoulder pain, and affect your posture. There are a slew of tips to help with that. A common tip is to hold the car seat in front of you with both arms, near your core. Half the time we’re carrying diaper bags or shopping bags at the same time though, so that might not be very practical. Another way to carry the car seat (A chiropractor came up with this one) Is to loop your arm around the handle and grab the side of the seat with your hand facing away from you.

Lifting your toddler by the armpits can cause wrist injury, especially if you are already at risk for it. Grabbing kiddo with Barbie doll hands (with your thumb and fingers creating an L.) is begging for trouble. You can, however, have your thumb relaxed and closer to your fingers to reduce stress. The recommended way to pick up your toddler is under the bum and supporting their back, bringing them close to your body before lifting. Keep in mind, bending down to pick up kiddo is bad for your back as well, so crouching is ideal.

Cracking your back is really bad. Do NOT crack your back or neck. I was cracking my back whenever it got stiff, you know, every once in awhile. Then, every day. And then it progressed to multiple times a day. It feels good in the moment after relieving the pressure, but I did some research and it can cause long-term damage. It can in some worst case scenarios cause a slipped disk or even stroke.

Nursing your baby hurting your wrists? Wrist injuries are common because many mothers support their baby’s head with their wrist at an angle. You can keep your wrist in its natural position, recline and let baby rest on you that way, or you could let baby rest in the crook of your elbow with support from a nursing pillow.

Obviously taking care of your child is your number one concern, but don’t forget to take care of yourself. After all, when your little kid is not so little anymore, they will want you to be in good health so you can enjoy growing with them.

Rescources:
http://www.bttoronto.ca/videos/three-hacks-to-minimize-new-parent-injuries/
http://newlifept.com/repetitive-use-injuries-common-with-new-parents/
http://www.parents.com/parenting/moms/healthy-mom/new-mom-injuries/