New research from the British Chiropractic Association finds parents’ back and neck pain in the South East is impacting on childcare
This April 15th – 21st, Chiropractic Awareness Week, Luck’s Yard Clinic in Milford in association with the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) is encouraging parents to straighten out their approach to back care as new consumer research shows that 84%* of people in the South East 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 (55%) of parents in the South East 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. 42%* of the South East’s parents said their back or neck pain has prevented them from carrying their child’s car seat or carry basket and 37%* say that back or neck pain has prevented them from playing with their child.
The chiropractic team from Luck’s Yard Clinic, 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
Tone Tellefsen 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, and the BCA’s advice is valuable in showing that you can look after your health at the same time as looking after your children.” At Luck’s Yard we see families every day and offer advice on posture and lifting as part of our care. We find that every age brings different postural challenges for parents such as when children need to be carried and later when they are starting to walk and needing a supporting hand.
We have helpful resources here at the clinic to support the postural changes of parenting and child care. We did a survey for grandparents last year as we were interested in seeing how active grandparents found postural strains of childcare. At Luck’s Yard we offer a free 15 minute consultation with one of our 4 chiropractors to ascertain if chiropractic is suitable for you.
For more information see our helpful web site www.http://www.lucksyardclinic.com for blogs, articles and you-tube films for posture and stretch advice.
*research conducted in March 2013