The Healthy Back Blog: For mums


More exercises to help strengthen parents backs
April 3, 2013, 7:30 pm
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After having a child it is common to suffer with back pain over the following few years as there is a lot of carrying and picking up involved which is not great for the back.

The back needs to be strengthened to help with this and below are a few exercises to try:

This first exercise is a great position to lie in especially when the back is bad just lie in this position for around 15 minutes at a time at least once a day.

layonback
This second exercise is also quite gentle – whilst lying on your back push evenly with your hands against the wall whilst gently raising one leg up and then the other one.

pushmarch
This is the plank exercise but whilst in this position rock forwards more onto your hands and then backwards towards your heels. Try 10 seconds at first progressing to 30 seconds if you can.

plankforward
With this final exercise start with just lifting off one arm and then one leg separately and once this becomes easier then try one arm and the opposite leg hold for 15 seconds and then change sides.

birddog

All these exercises should be done carefully and if any cause pain then don’t do them and consult your local chiropractor or doctor for advice.



Chiropractic Awareness Week – Back Perils of Parenting!
March 28, 2013, 8:19 pm
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EAST ANGLIA’S PARENTS SUFFER IMPACT OF BACK AND NECK PAIN     

CAW colour high res

– New research from the British Chiropractic Association finds parents’ back and neck pain in East Anglia is impacting on childcare –

This April 15th – 21st, Chiropractic Awareness Week, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) is encouraging parents to straighten out their approach to back care as new consumer research shows that 81%* of people in East Anglia have suffered from back / neck pain at some point in their lives – 66%* of those being parents.
The research commissioned by the British Chiropractic Association also shows that over half (55%*) of parents in East Anglia 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. 43%* of East Anglia’s parents said their back or neck pain has prevented them from carrying their child’s car seat or carry basket and 35%* say that back or neck pain has prevented them from playing with their child.

The British Chiropractic Association 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

Using Prams/Pushchairs
• 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

“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.”

If you do start to suffer with your back its worth seeing a chiropractor to find out what is wrong before it stops you looking after your children.Zara having fun



Strengthening the back – Pilates Style!
October 30, 2012, 8:24 pm
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ImageSorry for not blogging for a while time has just flown by recently!!  Now Zara is 20 months I’m finding I am starting to be able to get a little bit of time for myself and to be able to think about myself again.  After loosing the baby weight my next goal is to get my back strong to be able to cope with everyday life.  I now appeciate just how much the muscles suffer through pregnancy and beyond both in the abdominal muscles and the paraspinal muscles (muscles close to the spine).

Pregnancy dramatically weakens all these muscles due to the stretching of the abdominals and extra pressure on the low back.  After having a baby the muscles will continue to be weak unless they are strengthened and this is where pilates is so good.

There are now quite a few post partum pilates groups around which are fantastic and can help the back so much.  It’s also never too late to start and to help the back.  Its taken me a long time for me to be able to arrange my time to do a pilates class but I’m so glad I have.  It works really well at stregthening the pelvic floor and also makes sure you are using your muscles properly rather than compensating for weak muscles.

To find a pilates class near you I would reccomend finding a class run by a Pilates foundation instructor as they conform to the highest training standards.

If you are still finding you are getting some back pain it would definitely be worth seeing a Chiropractor to find out what is going on in your spine and muscles and what you need to do to help it.  To find a Chiropractor near you visit the British Chiropractic Associations website.



What an Olympics!
August 15, 2012, 7:32 pm
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After all the rain it was so nice to see the sun especially for the Olympics. It really was a magical two weeks that had the nation hooked. As a Chiropractor the main thing I noticed was an increase in back stiffness which may well have been due to prolonged sitting. I must admit it was hard to tear myself away from the TV except from when I was going to the events!



I really hope these games have inspired people to take up sport as it can help the body and the mind so much.

The key is to find a sport you can enjoy all through your life as then there is more incentive to keep it up. From a chiropractic point of view people who are active recover far quicker from injuries and are less likely to be overweight putting less stress on their joints.

If you are in pain it is worth seeing a chiropractor to see if they can help you. They can do a thorough examination to see if it is something they can help with or advise you on where to go. To find your local chiropractor visit the British Chiropractic Associations website.



Happy Jubilee!

What a shame the weather has not been kind this weekend. In true British style we braved the weather to attend a local picnic in the park but would have been so much better without the rain!

Hope everyone is making the most of the time off -don’t forget to keep moving around and trying to fit in some stretches to help your back. It’s really important to change position every 20 minutes or so as the back generally has a poor blood supply and so gets its oxygen supply through movement.

If you do experience any pain don’t ignore it – a Chiropractor could take a look and let you know if it is something they can help with. To find a Chiropractor go to the British Chiropractic Association’s website www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk.



A weighty Issue
April 6, 2012, 6:02 pm
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A lot of mums just like myself find they put on extra weight when they are pregnant which they then find hard to loose afterwards. This was definitely the case for me. As I had two children close together I had not lost all the baby weight from the first pregnancy before I became pregnant again so after Zara I was determined to loose the weight.

I haven’t however embarked on a weight loss plan quickly. I find it takes me around a year to emotionally and physically get over having a new baby and so loosing weight was the last thing on my mind. As time has gone on though I have decided it is now time to loose weight.

I think the hardest part is taking the plunge and joining a group or making a concious effort to loose weight. For me I decided to join Weight Watchers and I’m so glad I did. The fear of being weighed each week and putting on weight stops me from eating too much and just makes me more aware of my food choices. Being a Chiropractor I know what I should be eating but my will power is lacking some what!

Going to Weight Watchers has been great. I’ve lost just over a stone so far and I now have so much more energy as I’m not carrying around all that excess weight. I’ve started running again and have loads of energy which helps with two very active kids!

Just a couple of stone heavier than you should be puts so much extra pressure on all your joints and especially your back. Loosing weight in a slow and controlled way can prevent aches and pains and also help with heart burn.  If you take high blood pressure medication you may also find this can be reduced as you loose weight.  If you’re overweight give it a go, you’ll be glad you did.  A Chiropractor can also advise you on nutrition and the health benefits of loosing weight so if you suffer from back pain and could do with loosing a few pounds see how combining Chiropractic with a weight loss programme can be doubly beneficial.  To find a Chiropractor near you just put your postcode into the BCA site 



Zara turns one!

So Zara was one this week – wow where has that year gone!?? We had 2 little parties for her with all her friends and of course I made the cakes!

Zara is nearly walking but still wants to be carried all the time. I think its the worst time for the back as she is so heavy now. I try to limit how much I carry her but she is very clingy at the moment and seems to want to be carried constantly.

Things I’m doing to help are getting Zara to crawl up and down the stairs rather than me just carrying her. This is building up her muscles and at least saves me carrying her all the time.

When I cook I now take some toys in the kitchen so she can sit and play rather than trying to cook with one hand. But I can’t wait now for her to walk properly and give my back a break.

The best thing to help the back if you are doing a lot of lifting is to keep doing exercises to help strengthen the back. My two favourite ones at the moment are the cat-camel and the one where you raise opposite arm and leg.