SOUTH WEST’S PARENTS SUFFER IMPACT OF BACK AND NECK PAIN
‘New research from the British Chiropractic Association finds parents’ back and neck pain in the South West is impacting on childcare ‘
This April 15th – 21st, Chiropractic Awareness Week, The Family Chiropractic Centre is encouraging parents to straighten out their approach to back care as new consumer research shows that 89%* of people in the South West have suffered from back / neck pain at some point in their lives – 64%* of those being parents.
The research, commissioned by the British Chiropractic Association, also shows that over half (54%*) of parents in the South West say their back or neck pain has prevented them from lifting or carrying their child.
According to these new statistics, parents are not just limited in lifting and carrying their children. 34%* of the South West’s parents said their back or neck pain has prevented them from carrying their child’s car seat or carry basket and 27%* say that back or neck pain has prevented them from playing with their child.
We offers the following advice on how parents can look after their children whilst maintaining a healthy back:
Carrying your baby or toddler
- Carrying your baby as close as possible to your centre of gravity is advisable – across your
back or front is best. A carrier/sling or papoose is a good option
- Select a carrier that ‘criss-crosses’ at the back, so baby’s weight is distributed more evenly. Make sure you read the instructions that come with the product to ensure that you are using it correctly
- As your baby grows, lifting and carrying gets more difficult. Encouraging toddlers to do as much as possible for themselves, as appropriate, such as getting into the car seat, will save your back a lot of stress
- A pushchair or pram with adjustable height settings is ideal, as it can be moved to suit your own height and that of anyone else who will be pushing it. You should be able to walk upright with a straight spine and your hands resting at a comfortable height, which will help you maintain a good posture
Playing with your child
- Get down to your child’s level, rather than bending over
- Avoid spending too long kneeling down as this can put pressure on the knees. If you are kneeling, keep your back straight
- In any position, it is easy to get absorbed in what you and your child are doing. Try to remember to change position regularly
- Don’t bend to pick up toys, bend your knees. Watch your child and observe the natural squatting posture they use to pick things up.
Centre Chiropractor, Shaana van Aardenne DC comments: “As a parent myself, I understand how easy it is to put a strain on your back when looking after young children, as you are constantly carrying them from A to B, bending down to pick up their toys and generally attending to them. For this reason, it is important to ensure that you are not damaging your back in the process, Our advice is valuable in showing that you can look after your health at the same time as looking after your children.”