I am dedicating this article to all those wonderful, sleep-deprived, hardworking woman out there who have taken it upon themselves to increase the gene pool by having children. I am also in that ilk but the early memories of screaming, teething, snotty, teary bub’s is buried deep in the back-waters of my mind (thank God!).
There is a plethora of ailments that I could address with mothers which include stress due to sleep deprivation, neck and shoulder pain from head positions during feeding, breast or bottle, makes no difference. I am however opting for the back conditions due to holding children on one hip.
The biomechanics of the hitched-hip syndrome that is adopted by most parents is an absolute nightmare. All you have to do is look at yourself in the mirror to see what is happening to the muscles of back, spine and hips to realise what toll our little darling’s demands are creating. Now I’m not trying to tell you that you can’t carry the fruit from your loins, but I urge you not to break into the bad habit of selecting just one side to carry on. What we do sets up a common pattern of shortening certain muscles, tendons and connective tissue and jamming up joints in the spine, hip, ribs and even as far reaching as the neck and knees.
There are several options you can employ to alleviate muscle imbalance not only of the pelvis but also to teach neural re-patterning. Let’s try some fun things to change habits shall we? I want you to clean your teeth with the other hand go on try it for one week and see how it becomes slightly easier each time. What we are doing is setting up new neural pathways in the brain to ensure that the different set of muscle, tendon and joint sequences become “hard-wired”. This is one of the many types of challenges we can do to stave off early dementure say some authorities and I believe them. The need to carry your child on a particular hip is only a habit and one that needs to be monitored. The elevated hip will lead to shortening of the muscles and tendons around the trunk on that side, tension up the outside of that leg which can cause knee problems. The change in pelvic positions will tighten the inner thigh muscles on one side which then can lead to rotations of the pelvis and lower back.
So now we need to look at the BIG picture in two fold, addressing back care with correct muscle and joint alignment. We are also encouraging new neural pathways in the brain, similar to the brain-training programs used by Occupational Therapists and Nintendo DS. This will keep you from feeling stiff and achy and further from wanting to roam the neighbourhood in your “nightie” wondering where the heck you are.
Please try to swap the baby from either hip for your brain wealth, musculoskeletal health and also the common patterns on body twists and neck turns that you place on your little one.
Musculoskeletal and Remedial massage Therapist Paula Nutting lectures both Nationally in Australia and overseas in Canada. Specialising in musculoskeletal conditions of the body that require remedial massage techniques including neural activation, muscle length and strength and fascial rebalancing. Owning her Brisbane based practice PN Hands On for over 10 years, Paula focuses on both acute and chronic conditions.
Looking for a Remedial Massage or Musculoskeletal Therapist, expert Paula Nutting specialises in head aches, lower back pain, shoulder or neck issue on a daily basis. Please visit her site for more information at email@example.com or http://www.yourmusculoskeletalspecialist.com
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