Skip to main content

The [physical] pains of being a mom

The [physical] pains of being a mom

Nearly every mom with a small child has a Mary Poppins-style bag containing everything her child might need or want: a baggie of cheese crackers, sunscreen, extra socks, and a bunch of band-aids. All that plus diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes can make for a very heavy bag.

Combine the heavy bag and a child who wants to (or has to) be carried with the bending and stooping that go along with tending to children, and you have a recipe for potential injuries.

Lower back issues
Back issues are incredibly common for parents, typically from all the bending and twisting. Movements such as giving your baby a bath or lifting her in and out of a car seat can put extra strain and increase pressure on the spine. Even regularly carrying an overloaded diaper bag can throw off your posture and lead to back pain.
You can reduce your risk of developing back pain by following the proper techniques for lifting things, like bending your knees and not twisting while holding something heavy.
Handmaid’s knee
Officially known as prepatellar bursitis, this is an inflammation of the bursa sac in the front of your kneecap. It can be caused by frequent kneeling, like getting up and down to retrieve toys or kneeling down to give your child a bath. The most common symptoms include pain with activity, rapid swelling on the front of the kneecap, and tenderness and warmth to the touch.
You may be able to lower your odds of developing handmaid’s knee by kneeling on a padded surface instead of the hard floor to help cushion your knee.
Tennis elbow
Also known as lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is a wear-and-tear injury that can be exacerbated by overuse and repetitive activities, such as carrying a baby or toddler around or holding a newborn in ways that you haven’t held things in the past. Make a point to lift things with your palms facing up and do your best to avoid repeatedly extending your wrists and fingers in awkward ways to avoid injury. It’s also a good idea to try to limit how much – and how many things – you carry at once. Try to avoid carrying children and packages while attempting to manipulate items such as keys or cooking tools.
Symptoms of tennis elbow include soreness or pain on the outside side of the upper arm near the elbow.
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, an extremely common condition among new moms, affects the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist. It can cause symptoms like pain and swelling near the base of your thumb, trouble moving your thumb and wrist when you need to grasp or pinch something, and feeling a sticking sensation in your thumb when you move it.
Limit repetitive lifting and side-to-side movement of your wrist and try to maintain a looser grip on small objects (like a toy or pacifier) to lower the risk you’ll develop the condition.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
One of the most widely known overuse syndromes, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and arm, and it’s caused by repetitive motions. New moms specifically may develop carpal tunnel from holding their wrists at a sharp angle while nursing. Being mindful of how you use your wrists — and straightening them when you can — can help lower the risk of developing carpal tunnel as a mom.

Sleepless nights are bad enough …
If motherhood is leaving you with more than the typical baby scratches and head-bump bruises, you may want to see one of the specialists at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. By seeking early treatment for aches and pains that may indicate more serious injuries, you can avoid more complex injuries and get yourself on the road to recovery. In fact, early treatment can minimize possible damage and simplify your treatment. After all, you’ve got an awful lot to take care of in the midst of all that mom-ing. DOC Ortho can help you stay at your best – even in the midst of minimal sleep.

Since 1972, our specialists have been committed to providing exceptional orthopaedic care through innovative techniques, quality services, patient communication, and education. With specialties ranging from general orthopaedics and physical therapy to sports medicine and more, the doctors at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine can provide local expert guidance to avoid injury, as well as any necessary care for any orthopaedic disorder or injury to help keep yourself healthy and pain-free. Click here to schedule an appointment today.

Schedule an Appointment

Share This