When you bring a baby home from the hospital, you expect to change a few diapers and lose a little sleep, which is why suffering with a sudden onset of debilitating back pain can seem like the last thing you need.
Unfortunately, back pain is not only a common side effect of a growing baby bump, but it is also caused by lifting your little one dozens of times a day until they are old enough to walk and behave themselves in stores. Here are two easy ways to avoid lower back pain as a new parent, so you can focus on what really matters — your new little one.
1. Stay Active
Since parenting can be absolutely exhausting, you might find yourself doing a lot more sitting during your free time than you did before the baby came. Instead of taking care of yard work or going out with friends, you might be tempted to grab the remote and binge watch that new series you have had your eye on.
Unfortunately, sitting is incredibly hard on your lower back. In fact, research has shown that the compressive forces between your L4 and L5 vertebrae are as much as 40% greater when you are seated than when you are standing, a problem that compounds by resting for extended periods of time.
While it is important to rest properly after delivering a child, doing too much sitting around can also impact your muscle tone, which can also contribute to back pain. Researchers have found that exercise and movement help to encourage blood flow and circulate necessary nutrients, speeding essential fluids to injured parts of your body.
To prevent back pain and speed your healing process, talk with your doctor about the appropriate amounts of activity for your condition, and start exercising again as soon as you have clearance. As you go about your normal daily activities, focus on standing as much as possible instead of pulling up a chair.
In addition to helping you to burn a few extra calories, making activity and standing a normal part of your day will make it easier to keep up with your little one as they get older. Additionally, weight loss helps you to put less strain on your muscles and skeletal system, naturally relieving pain.
2. Leave the Car Seat Installed
Most new parents do everything they can to keep their little one comfortable, which is why you might be tempted to haul your child around in their car seat. Unfortunately, car seats can be extremely heavy, especially when you add the weight of your child, their blankets, and any toys they happen to be obsessed with at the time.
However, you can prevent the back pain involved with heavy lifting by leaving the seat properly installed and anchored into the car. Instead of installing and removing the car seat several times as you go about your normal errands, carry your child to the car, buckle them into the car seat, and then unbuckle them when you get where you are going.
Although it might seem counter-intuitive, leaving your child's car seat installed offers a long list of benefits. Because the seat won't move, it is easier to determine if the car seat is anchored properly, which can protect your little one in the event of an accident. Also, children get to snuggle with their parents when they are being carried, which can encourage bonding.
It isn't always easy to alleviate back pain on your own, which is why Specialists in Pain Management are on hand to help. With a comprehensive approach to pain diagnosis and ongoing management, these board-certified specialists can help you with everything from lower back pain and migraines to osteoporosis and degenerative disc disease. Visit our office today to learn how to start living a more comfortable life.