By Megan Thole
Are you struggling with stiffness? Muscle Pain? Joint discomfort? Below are the 3 common errors that we are all guilty of, as well as some tips to help alleviate the symptoms caused by these errors:
1. ALWAYS CARRYING BABY/TODDLER ON THE SAME HIP …
Your muscles become used to this posture even when you are not carrying your little one. So, if you tend to carry him/her on your left side…typically, your left hip will elevate and shift towards the left to provide a nice ‘platform’ for him/her to sit on comfortably. The problem with this is your body adopts this posture as its new normal. Gradually certain muscles strengthen in this posture, which leads to your hip elevating and shifting towards the left side even when you are not carrying him/her. This muscle imbalance between your right and left side places a lot of stress on your other joints, in particular your back and can lead to acute or chronic lower or upper back pain. It can also eventually lead to other joint pain, such as knee pai, due to compensation. Alternate sides that you carry on in order to avoid these muscular changes.
2. BENDING FROM THE HIPS INSTEAD OF FROM THE KNEES…
Be it bending over to pick up toys, your little one, bath them, clean the floor and so on; it feels simpler and quicker to lock the knees and bend over from your hips to perform these tasks. The problem with this technique is the physics principle of the lever system.
The lever system – if you picture a crane i.e. a pulley system, with a lever arm (1) that is perpendicular to the floor (i.e. upright) and at ninety degrees to that, another lever arm (2)(horizontal) that extends from a pivot point (circle).
Lever arm one is your legs, the pivot point is your hips and the second lever arm is your body. The cable running up lever arm 1 and across lever arm 2 are the muscles behind your legs, hips and back.
Keeping this picture in mind, when you are in this bent over position…lever arm 2 (the body) places a significant amount of pressure on the pivot point (the hips) as well as the muscles running down the back of your body and legs. The muscles have to work very hard to maintain this posture and then even more work & stress is required to move the body back into an upright posture. By bending your knees instead, you avoid this muscular stress being placed on your back and hips, and this will avoid injury to these muscles.
Mommies always have so many things to juggle at the same time, and end up carrying baby bags, hand bags, shopping bags and baby all at the same time to where ever they need to get to, without tripping over toys! The problem with this is that the body is being placed in an unnatural position while carrying weighted loads…this means that the muscles and joints are being placed in a vulnerable and compromising position, which makes them very susceptible to injury and pain.
Although it is time consuming, rather do a few trips and carry smaller loads or encourage your little one to walk if he/she is able to…these minor adjustments will results in major reduction in muscular tension.