3 Simple Tips To Prevent New Dad Back Pain
If you’re a new dad, then you know that life can be a little crazy now. You’re probably dealing with sleepless nights, changing diapers, and trying to adjust to this new role. But one thing that you don’t want to have to worry about is back pain.
“New dad back pain” is our term that refers to the common aches and pains that can develop in the neck and shoulders from holding the baby, helping look after them and playing.
If you start to feel these symptoms, it’s important to take care of it as soon as possible, before it leads to other severe problems.
To help, here are three simple tips to help prevent back pain as a new dad.
What Causes New Dad Back Pain?
Whilst much of the care and attention after birth is focused on the mum and baby (and rightly so!), dads can also experience posture issues from their new duties.
As new dads, you put your hand up to do all the housework and look after the new baby. However, new dad back pain can come from many different sources.
- Holding babies and young kids
- Putting babies into cots and cribs
- Having less time to visit the gym and stay active
- Trying to carry too much in one trip
This can lead to muscle imbalances, tight neck and shoulders, lower back pain and poor posture.
The good news is there are steps you can take to prevent back pain.
1. Use Good Posture When Lifting Kids (Especially From A Cot)
This one might seem obvious but it makes a huge difference. As a parent, you’ll spend a lot of time lifting your baby up, especially in and out of their cot. This can put a strain on your lower back, especially as they grow bigger and heavier.
When picking babies and toddlers up out of cots, I recommend standing with a slightly staggered stance rather than feet facing straight into the cot. If you can bend forward with your lumbar spine slightly supported by your legs, it will place a lot less stress on the muscles and joints of your back. This helps to prevent lower back pain in the long run.
2. Stretch Your Pecs
Stretching your pecs will help your upper back loosen up and prevent muscle soreness.
Holding babies all the time puts extra stress on your shoulders and upper back. Constantly having your shoulder in a rounded, forward position causes the pecs to tighten up and can get really uncomfortable.
Practice pec stretching exercises a couple of times a week to prevent your shoulders and upper back from becoming tight and uncomfortable.
3. Stay Active With Your Baby
From the moment you have a baby, your needs often must come second to the needs of your children. Exercise becomes a difficult task for busy parents juggling all their responsibilities towards work, their partner and their child.
The downside is that a lack of movement and activity can lead to back pain.
There are, however, some effective ways to incorporate exercise back into your life and fight the tendency to become more sedentary. You don’t need to block out 45 minutes of continuous exercise — 10-15 minutes of bodyweight exercises and stretching is enough to maintain a relative level of fitness.
Other ways to stay active with your baby include walking to your neighbour instead of calling, taking the stairs and parking further away from your destination. Everything works to help burn calories and keep your body moving. Check your steps at the end of the day and you’d be surprised how much it adds up!
Ask For Help
Becoming a dad is a big change and the new duties can affect your posture and wellbeing. This can lead to aches and pains, which is the last thing you want to be worrying about.
These three tips are designed to be simple to implement in a busy dad’s life.
If you have ongoing back problems, a professional chiropractor can help. At Dynamic Chiropractic, we have helped hepas of dads out with their new “new dad back pain” and would love to help you too.