Are 'parental injuries' your excuse to not exercise?
It’s astounding how many mums ( and dads ) suffer parental injuries, especially lower back pain from having children. The obvious is true for both parents, carrying kids around forces us to contort our bodies in order to hold them on our hips or in ways that reduces our ability to hold the right posture and keep our core strong.
My 3 year history of severe lower back pain was due to picking up our first born Charlie out of his cot at just 2 weeks old. The action of bending down at the hips, my weak core and total body exhaustion all contributed to a ‘twinge’ at that very moment in my lower back. It was a niggle I ignored, I thought it would just improve if I rested, and some days the pain was indeed less, but as time went on, it got worse, way worse. I had under estimated how important it was for me to build my core strength after having children. Sure I was told to do core exercises, but I was relatively fit before having Charlie and just assumed I would bounce back.
I lived with lower pain on and off for a year. I got used to the fact I couldn’t sit for long periods, or stand for that matter, and generally was used to interrupted sleep. The pain and tiredness was not exactly motivating me to exercise, when in actual fact, thats exactly what I should have been doing. And on the days I did feel ready to get the running shoes on again, I would do my usual lap the park only to push it too hard and make the pain worse by forgetting to stretch. And on went the cycle.
I then fell pregnant with our second baby Cooper. I wasn’t as active as I was in my first pregnancy due to my concerns about my lower back, so by the time my third trimester came about, there were some days when the pain and spasm was so intense I had to crawl from my bed to the loo on my hands and knees. Picking up my toddler was near impossible which upset me and Charlie a great deal. Thankfully as soon as I had Cooper the pain had eased. But I had to do something about gaining my core strength back. The lack of fitness and strength had a domino impact on my overall health. My motivation to self heal was to play with my boys without the fear of injury. I wanted to pick them up, run about and do hand stands if I so desired! My boys are solid little units, so their weight alone is enough to put anyones back out! So it was time to get my foundation strong and stretching the lower back, glutes and hamstrings is what I started with.
Click here to find my lower back stretch routine!
I was taught these exercises by my magician Osteopath, Naval Mair here in London http://navalmair.com/ I did these stretches 2-3 times a day for 2-3 weeks. My pain eased immensely and I was able to exercise properly again, but this time factoring in warm ups, post workout stretching and focusing on proper technique. I continue to do this routine, and some others, daily. It keeps my lower back, glutes and hamstrings supple and free from pain. I can’t thank Naval enough for getting me back on my feet again. I hope this helps you too!
Would love to hear your parental injury story! Please comment below.