Will I get a Lower back pain ?
When your child was born I’m sure that you didn’t sign up to go to an 8:00 AM Physical Therapy (P.T.) class on a weekend with 60 -70 year-olds. But this is a harsh reality 99.99% of you will have to face, whether you’re a dad or a mom. Even if you are a physically fit active person – you are still guaranteed to develop lower back problems a few month into parenthood.
Lower back pain – a multi-variable chronic condition taking root in poor ergonomics.
What will make this unexpected condition even more excruciating is the incompetence of your PCP doctors. As you probably guessed they will prescribe ibuprofen and tell you to do stretches. Classic doctoring. So here you are in your 20s-30s with a lower back pain unable to get out of the bed in the morning. Having to go to work (often time spending a day in ergonomically unfavorable position). What can you do?
Nothing – absolutely – nothing
Tips to deal with the lower back pain:
After extensive research here are some tips that my wife & I found useful.
Absolutely insist that your doctor performs an imaging study on your back: x-ray plus a CT scan.
It took me 4 ! yes 4 ! visits to get an x-ray of my lower back – extremely frustrating, but that’s the reality of America Health Care System. In my case – I didn’t have any herniated discs.
My wife (who also has same insurance as I am) was so frustrated after a few doctor visits and multiple denials actually went to her home country for a CT scan – which showed a herniated disc! A herniated disc will require serious medical attention with potential of steroid use (to manage inflammation) or even a surgery (highly recommend against).
Conclusion: You may experience lower back problems due to herniated disc (or another serious pathological underlying cause), sciatic nerve impingement, or a cramped muscle. Treatment for each is very different, insist that your doctor establishes the underlying cause.
Do your best at preventative medicine.
Once you have a little one you will be constantly performing the ergonomically unfavorable “up-and-down” motion to pick up your kid – inadvertently over-stressing various groups of lower back muscles. Attempt to get into habit of doing squats the proper way and sitting down/picking things off the ground with your “butt out” – where you focus all the weight on quadriceps (front leg muscles).
Watch YouTube videos from P.T.s (Physical therapists) to learn the proper way to stretch your lower back. Make an effort to do those stretches in the morning and the evening (being consistent is extremely difficult).
Conclusion: Do your best to consistently perform stretches and attempt to use proper ergonomics.
Lack of sleep and other stress agents.
What is really going to kill your back is the constant lack of sleep, having to get up in the middle of the night to pick up your kid from the bottom of the crib. There are studies out there linking high level stress hormones -like cortisol – significantly contributing to chronic back pain. How do you decrease the stress from lack of sleep and other external agents? Talk out these issues with your spouse. See if you can figure out a schedule or simply take turns getting up every other night. Make sure that your baby is comforted at night and have a bottle of water/milk and a dry diaper on hand at all times.
Conclusion: Mange your stress agents.
Some people use over-the-counter medicine, prescription medicine and alcohol to manage the pain. Clearly no one can give you a good advice on whether to use these, however what is important to keep in mind that your judgment and physical abilities will be impaired while on the strong pain management – is this something you can afford with an infant?
Conclusion: You can’t afford being impaired, since the little one needs your full attention and ability to perform your parent duties.
Focusing on the first 3 aspects described above and avoiding the 4th -that’s the best strategy to keep your health in check and avoid serious back injuries including chronic lower back pain.
Please share your ideas ways to manage back pain in the comment section.