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Healthy Back Habits for Parents

By: Dr. Lisa Goodman, DC, CCSP, CACCP

As parents we face specific challenges when it comes to lifting, carrying, bending and twisting. It is important to know that small, simple, repetitive movements can lead to serious and painful injuries.

As a parent, most of us can’t afford to have a back or shoulder injury. Having two young children I know that it is important to protect my body and prevent injuries.

As a chiropractor, I know how valuable it is to teach other parents easy ways to protect themselves and prevent injuries. We teach a class available to the community called “Parenting Ergonomics” in which parents of infants and toddlers will learn detailed information about how best to incorporate proper ergonomics into their lives.

Here are four of my favorite tips:

1. Carrying: When carrying a child or an infant carrier be sure to switch sides. Do not get in the habit of always holding a child on your left hip because you are right handed. This will create a lot of rotation and torsion in your pelvis which can lead to catastrophic lower back pain over time. This is particularly important if you have more than one child. Also be sure to hold your body in an upright "plank" position (see photo), this can double as a core workout.

2. Diapering: When changing baby’s diaper it is a good idea to change their head and foot position on the changing table so that they are not always lying in the same direction. This allows you to rotate your back and arms equally when changing them and allows baby to practice turning his/her head both ways. This can help to avoid rotational fixations baby might develop in their neck.

3. Nursing/Feeding: Be sure to have a lot of support behind your back and arms when feeding baby. The caregiver should be relaxed and not feel like they are holding baby up. It is very important to change baby’s position and especially if you are bottle feeding to hold baby on your right AND left. This is good for baby’s development and yours.

4. Playing: Kids of all ages love nothing more than to spend time with mom and dad doing their favorite activity / sport. So whether you are building legos or playing basketball, do your best to prevent injury. For example, when doing homework or a puzzle, you should sit at a table with good back support and good lighting. If you are playing a sport with your child try to warm up for a few minutes with a light jog and be sure to stretch after activity and ice anything that may become sore. If you are playing on the floor, be sure to use your legs to get into and out of a good squatting position.

If you are interested in taking one of our Ergonomics classes, located at our office in Denver, Colorado, email or call our office for more information!

Washington Park Chiropractic is the only practice in Denver, Colorado specializing in Sports Chiropractic, Prenatal Chiropractic and Pediatric Chiropractic. Our Wash Park Doctors are expert certified and trained in Sports, Pediatrics and Prenatal Care including massage, acupuncture, Webster Technique, Graston Technique, Laser, K-Laser, Kinesiology Tape, RockTape and Normatec

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