If you’re a dad with back pain, you aren’t alone! Lower back pain affects around 80% of the population at some point during their lives, and parenting introduces your spine to a whole load of new activities (and subsequent aches and pains).
The good news is that lower back pain is not usually a sign of a serious medical problem, and there are simple measures you can take to live a pain-free life.
Dads, are you ready to nurse your back pain to sleep? Start with these handy tips from our Fareham chiropractor:
Watch Your Weight
Staying in ship-shape is not always easy when you become a dad (we’ve all given in to the temptation of nibbling the leftovers on the kids’ plates!), but one of the biggest causes of lower back pain in men is putting on weight around the tummy area. Think about it: extra weight around your front forces your spine into an arched position to stop you from toppling over (the spine is really clever, by the way). Walking around in this hyper-extended position day after day will inevitably take its toll on the ligaments in your lower back.
Get Proper Back Support
Cuddling your baby is a dream come true, but one of your spine’s greatest nightmares! According to our Fareham chiropractor, propping yourself up with pillows while you snuggle with your bundle of joy just isn’t enough support for your already strained back. Make sure you invest in a good mattress and try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs to help take the pressure off your spine.
Most of us know that bending your knees is a safe way to lift, but did you know that holding an object close to your torso is also part of the safe lifting picture? Between lugging the buggy, the car seat, your ever-growing baby (and what seems like half your house every time you go out) around with you, your back bears a lot of weight every day.
The closer you keep those heavy objects to your body, the more the weight is evenly absorbed by your muscles and ligaments. The result: better protection and less pain in your lower back.
Stub Out Your Habit
There’s no better incentive to stop smoking than becoming a parent.
If you smoke, quit. It’s hard, but the consequences of smoking will be much harder.
Smoking impairs your blood flow, which limits the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues in your lower back, making them more susceptible to tears and strains. You can set yourself up for a much happier and healthier future by making the decision to quit smoking. It will be one the best things you’ll ever do for your overall health and the health of your spine.
Work your core
According to our Fareham chiropractor, one of the best ways to avoid chronic back pain is to build strong core muscles. There are many exercises that can help you to achieve this, however, you should always consult a healthcare professional before starting any form of exercise, especially if you have a health condition.
The following three give you the best results in the littlest time (we know dads are busy!):
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your hands at your sides. Clench your buttock muscles and push up through your heels, raising your hips. Keep your back flat, creating a straight line from hips to shoulders. Count to 20. Release. Repeat this exercise 5 times.
Again, lie on your back with your knees bent and your hands by your sides. Take a deep breath in. When you exhale, contract your stomach muscles and pull your belly button in towards your spine. Count to 5. Release. Repeat this exercise 5 times.
Lie on your stomach and extend your legs behind you with your arms out in front. Lift your legs and your arms about 6 inches off the floor at the same time. Hold for 5 counts. Relax. Repeat this exercise 5 times.
So there you have it, dads – our Fareham chiropractor’s top tips on enjoying parenthood free from back pain.
Here’s to a happy and healthy Father’s Day!
If you are suffering lower back pain our experienced team of chiropractors at Homewood Chiropractic Clinic are here to help you. You can call us on 01329 280 283 to make an appointment.