New research from the British Chiropractic Association finds parents’ back and neck pain in the North West is impacting on childcare.
This April 15th – 21st, Chiropractic Awareness Week, Back-in-Action Chiropractic Clinic in Preston, is encouraging parents to straighten out their approach to back care as new consumer research shows that 82%* of people in the North West have suffered from back / neck pain at some point in their lives – 77%* of those being parents.
The research commissioned by the British Chiropractic Association also shows that over half (55%*) of parents in the North West 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. 42%* of the North West’s parents said their back or neck pain has prevented them from carrying their child’s car seat or carry basket and 34%* say that back or neck pain has prevented them from playing with their child.
Back-in-Action Chiropractic Clinic in Penwortham 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. Always bend your knees! 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.
- 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
Louis Westerbeek, chiropractor at Back-in-Action Preston, comments: “It’s easy to understand how looking after young children puts strain on your back, 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 advice we’ve given is valuable in showing that you can look after your health at the same time as looking after your children.”
Back-in-Action has more great information for parents with three parent-specific fact sheets available from the Back-in-Action website.
*research conducted in March 2013
From the Preston Chiropractor Team
Getting You Back in Action & Enjoying Your Life Again
Serving the people of Preston and surrounding areas including Southport and Lytham St Annes