ASK A PHYSIO..October

"As a first time mother to a growing 14 month old I would love to know what I should do to prevent a stiff neck and sore back?" Michelle M, 36.

Thanks Michelle.
 
Lower back pain is very common during and following pregnancy due to the physical and hormonal changes to your body. The ligaments weaken and everything becomes a little less stable including your pelvic and spinal joints. The abdominal and pelvic floor muscles stretch and therefore the spine loses the corset like support which can result in pain and overload in the spine. Add to this a growing little one that can become very heavy to pick up constantly, little or no time to work out yourself and constant tiredness it is not surprising that most mums (and dads) have a sore back and stiff neck to deal with.    
 
Some ideas to prevent/overcome Low Back Pain: 
 

"As a first time mother to a growing 14 month old I would love to know what I should do to prevent a stiff neck and sore back?" Michelle M, 36.

Thanks Michelle.
 
Lower back pain is very common during and following pregnancy due to the physical and hormonal changes to your body. The ligaments weaken and everything becomes a little less stable including your pelvic and spinal joints. The abdominal and pelvic floor muscles stretch and therefore the spine loses the corset like support which can result in pain and overload in the spine. Add to this a growing little one that can become very heavy to pick up constantly, little or no time to work out yourself and constant tiredness it is not surprising that most mums (and dads) have a sore back and stiff neck to deal with.    
 
Some ideas to prevent/overcome Low Back Pain: 
  • Pelvic floor and deep abdominal exercises
  • Regular walking or stationary bike
  • Pilates classes
  • A Real-Time Ultrasound assessment by a SquareOne Physio to evaluate your activation and endurance  of the pelvic floor, abdominal and spinal muscles. 
  • When bending to pick up the little one bend from the knees and activate your core
  • Avoid prolonged standing and holding the baby on one hip. Hold the baby across your front using both arms and have even weight on both feet.
  • A progressive strengthening program to improve buttock, core and leg strength may also be beneficial
Some ideas to help prevent a stiff neck include:
  • Gentle stretches of the neck e.g. letting your ear drop down towards your shoulder to stretch the side of the neck
  • Taking care of posture when feeding – have the baby supported mostly by pillows. Keep your shoulder back and relaxed. Don’t hunch over the baby.
  • When sitting rest your feet on the ground, roll your shoulders back and down, tuck your chin in slightly and support your lower back with a small pillow
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Avoid extended use of Baby Bjorns especially if the baby is getting bigger. Opt for baby carriers like the Ergobaby which help distruiibute the load away from your neck and shoulders.
A heat pack or hot shower may be useful for both the neck and back to help the muscles relax and to provide some pain relief, especially at the end of the day to help you have a more comfortable sleep. 
 
If you have any other questions or the pain continues longer that a few days consulting with your SquareOne Physios for a specific assessment and treatment is recommended. Alternatively you may treat yourself to a Remedial Massage to help you relax and loosen some of your overactive muscles!