The use and adoption of simple safe lifting techniques is a must for the long term back health of any parent. Regardless of how well prepared you believe you are for parenthood, parents are continually faced with the active and physical demands of child raising such as chasing, lifting, feeding, and comforting.
It has been suggested that some of the causes attributed to back pain are believed to be associated with the repetitive lifting of children, particularly when you take into account the following:
parents are probably lifting a 7-10 pound baby 50 times per day
by the age of 12 months, the child may weigh approximately 17 pounds
at 2 years, the child becomes a very active (and inquisitive) 25 to 30 pound toddler
Add another sibling into the equation and you really start to appreciate the picture! It is clear (and studies have shown) that parenthood is a proven risk factor for back problems in both men and women. So, how to help yourself to avoid the aches, sprains, and strains associated with the challenges of family life?
Safe Lifting: Suggested Posture
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart which gives you a stable base of support.
Keep your back as straight as possible and bend at your knees to reach your child.
Lift using both arms while keeping your back straight and pushing up with your thigh muscles, these leg muscles are amongst the largest and strongest muscles in the body – use them!
When carrying and moving a child, pivot with your feet until you are facing your destination, then lower the child into the crib or onto the floor by bending at the knees and keeping your back straight. Bending and twisting puts an increased load on the lower back structures, namely the disc.
When lowering a child into the crib, remember to bend at the knees, try keeping a straight back to reduce stress on the lower back as much as possible.Most often it is the smallest and most innocent movements that may cause lower back pain. Bending too quickly to pick up that wayward toy, moving children around on the furniture or floor while bending at the back, difficult positioning while getting a child in and out of a crib (particularly at night when you’re not fully aware). Even though the load may be light, it is the awkward position of your back and the repetition of movement that may sneak up and get you! Yes! It’s hard to actively think about lifting and posture all of the time, however, the more you do it, the easier it will get and the more protected you’ll be.
For more information on how Dragonfly Release Holistic Centre can help you with its range of services, including its Home/Office care solutions, please visit us at www.dragonflyrelease.com
Jeff Phillips is located at Dragonfly Release Holistic Centre, St Margrets Bay, and is a Registered Massage Therapist, Jade Stone Massage Therapist and Reiki Master/Teacher