Most parents know kids can cause pain… literally. Lifting and carrying children can result in stress and strain on the parent’s body, back, shoulders and neck. The shoulder ride is a typical suspect. Despite being great fun for the child, it can quite literally be a pain in the neck for the parent as sometimes it is just quicker and easier to pick up a child when walking a long distance.
So how can a parent minimise the stress and strain on their own bodies?
- If you absolutely insist on lifting a child up onto your shoulders, try having them stand on a higher (make sure it is safe!) surface such as a table, so that they are at the correct height. Remember its always much better to lift with your legs, rather than your back and this is no different
- There are carrying devices on the market to assist in carrying children on the back or shoulders. These devices are potentially a safer option for the parent, and avoids the child needing to use a tight grip on the neck or head to hold on.
- If carrying a baby or infant in the arms be conscious of alternating sides regularly to avoid overloading on one side only.
- Limit the amount of time or the regularity of shoulder rides.
- Know when to say no. Don’t attempt it if you are tired, or sore.
- Know your limits. At some point in time your child will be simply too big to carry. Try and explain to them that it is no longer safe to keep carrying them.
- Learn a few smart stretches to help keep you limber. Your friendly physiotherapist can guide you, or help you out if you’ve already suffered the effects before reading this advice.
If you suffer from neck or back, it is best to commence neck treatment straight away. Your physiotherapist has numerous tricks that can help to quickly relieve your neck pain and muscle spasm.
If you have had neck pain or stiffness for a month or more, your GP may be able to refer you to a physiotherapist in Sydney as long-term stiffness can be treated effectively at any time.
If you are not sure what to do, please contact Sydney Physio Solutions for advice or to make an appointment with one of our neck physiotherapists.