The Healthy Back Blog: For mums

Chiropractic Awareness Week – Back Perils of Parenting! by louisehampton
March 28, 2013, 8:19 pm
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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


Happy Jubilee! by louisehampton

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

A weighty Issue by louisehampton
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! by louisehampton

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.

Take care in the snow!!! by louisehampton

We had a great day today playing in the snow but if you are having to clear the snow and ice make sure you do some stretches first to help your backs. Your back is most vunerable in the first hour after awakening so be extra careful then.

Snow shovels are great and much better for your back as they are not as heavy as a spade so if you can use a snow shovel it will be a lot better for your back and avoid the temptation to scoop too much up at once!

If you do strain your back try putting an ice pack wrapped in a T-towel on it for 10 mins to reduce the inflamation and do some gentle cat stretches to ease it. If still in pain seek advice from a GP or chiropractor. Find your nearest Chiropractor through the British Chiropractic Association.

A focus on posture when putting you child in a cot. by louisehampton

As with most things there is not just one way of putting a child in a cot but if you adhere to a few simple rules it may just help your back.

Travel cots are one of the hardest as with no adjustable side there is no choice but to bend down quite far to put your baby in.

Try and make sure your cot is up against a wall so you can use the cot to lean against. If you use a fencer stance bending your knees and sucking your tummy in you can help protect your back when lowering you child.

When lowering your child into the cot try lifting one leg off the ground to take the pressure off your back and legs.

Obviously have the mattress at the highest level when your baby is unable to sit up and then lower it as your baby gets older.

When lifting your baby in and out if your cot has a side that lowers make sure you use it so you dont have to bend so far.

Lifting children does put a lot of pressure on the back. After giving birth it is really important to do exercises to work on the pelvic floor and back muscles so they can strengthen and be able to cope with carrying children. If you do experience back pain it is important to get it checked out. Through the British Chiropractic Association’s website you can find a Chiropractor close to you to discuss any problems you have.

Happy New Year! by louisehampton

Wishing you all a very happy new year. Last year was certainly a hectic one for me – just don’t know where the time goes. I can’t believe Zara is now 10 months old and so not a baby anymore.

Just before Christmas I went to the Lister Hospital to deliver £250 worth of presents to the children there after my clinic held a charity morning. The staff were very grateful for the donations as unfortunately they had a full ward this year and were short of presents.

Hope you all have a good new year’s eve. We are just having a quite one in due to the children but it should still be nice.