“How to beat aches and pains if you’re a Mom or Dad who loves to play with the kids”
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
Playing with your kids is the highlight of being a parent.
Your kids are the most precious things in your life... and the period of time between when they’re born to when they leave the house goes by in a blink... a heartbeat. So you want to devote as much time and as much effort as possible. But these family activities can come at a price...and that price is PAIN!
Playing with your kids is a set up for neck pain. The long hours spent lifting and carrying them or their toys... along with the driving you often need to do (the phrase “soccer mom” is more than a cliché... it’s a fact!) can lead to neck strain. This causes muscle aches in the neck and shoulders. You can also get headaches. So what do you do? Well, first, recognize that this is going to happen if you don’t take frequent breaks particularly if you hold your head in one position for a long time. It’s a good idea to stretch before and after you play. Also, if you carry a backpack (this is particularly true for moms and dads with little ones), this can lead to neck pain. Try to use a pack that places most of the load on your hips. Try to avoid heavy loads altogether if you have a neck problem
Your shoulders can also hurt. When you lift your kids up over your head or spend time putting together toys... or a tree fort... or a swing set... with your arms held in one position… and especially if you work with your arms above shoulder level, you can run into a problem called impingement syndrome. This is when your rotator cuff tendons get pinched. And throwing around balls, swinging a bat, pushing a swing can do this too! It’s a common problem. Specific stretching exercises for the shoulder before and after you do any type of activity that requires arm movement should help. Also, make sure you take frequent breaks. Ice packs after you work sometimes help with the pain as do over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines.
Elbow pain is a common problem after any type of repetitive arm motion. Like baking cookies in the kitchen or putting together a toy. Doing any type of repetitive activity can lead to painful condition called lateral epicondylitis. This is a type of tendonitis that affects the outside part of the elbow. Stretching before you work can help as can stretching and ice after you work. Anti-inflammatory medicines, an elbow band, and physical therapy also can help. Injections of platelet-rich plasma administered with ultrasound guidance will take away the pain and restore damaged tendon tissue. This is the preferred method for tendon problems in the elbow. Cortisone injections, the old method, actually weaken tendon tissue.
Hand and wrist pain is another common problem. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the median nerve into the hand gets pinched. This causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand. Treatment consists of physical therapy, a splint, and sometime injecting with steroid. In some instances, surgery is required. Different forms of tendonitis can also develop after playing with the kids. You can get trigger finger where the finger seems to stick. A painful tendonitis of the thumb can also be a result of repetitive activity.
Low back pain can come on from standing too long in one place or by lifting and carrying heavy articles. Make sure you lift with your legs. You may need to go down on one knee before you lift. Keep your back straight and your head up. Test the item you’re going to lift before you lift it. Don’t twist. Even a simple activity like getting the child into and out of the car seat can be a problem. Stretch before you play and also afterward. Use ice packs if you strain your back. Over the counter medication can sometimes help also. See your doctor if the pain is severe or doesn’t go away within a day or two.
Sleeping out in the backyard in a tent with the kids is fun but it is not the greatest for your back. Make sure you use a good air mattress. Use some support for your head and neck or you’ll wake up miserable. A neck support pillow can help a lot.
If it’s going to be chilly, use hand warmers. You can get these at most camp supply stores.
Knee pain can result if you’re not careful when you squat. Be careful not to go down too long or with too much weight. Walking on uneven ground can also hurt your knees.
And if you’re not used to running around a lot, be careful!
Sitting around at the kids’ competitive events can lead to a stiff low back, hips, or knees... or all three! This is particularly true if you sit on bleachers. Sit on cushions and get up to stretch or walk around.
Make sure you stretch! Moist heat can help loosen things up. Acute injuries though should be treated with ice!
Try to stay in shape. Maintaining your conditioning is important because you want to be in good health when your kids are grown and have kids of their own too!
Wear comfortable shoes to protect your ankles and feet.
Get more information about arthritis and related conditions as well as...
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• The stiff penalties you face if you ignore this type of hip pain...
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• And much more...
Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
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