On Saturday I felt a sadly familiar grinding pain in my upper back and I knew I’d trapped a nerve in a vertebrae again. Actually, my osteopath confirmed yesterday that it’s three nerves and three vertebrae, which is two more than last time. I did it (both times) picking up our daughter. I’ll be very sore for a week or two, but with combined osteo and exercises and good old ibuprofen, hopefully on the mend soon.
There must be so many mums and dads who have gotten some sort of back or neck injury since having kids. I counted the amount of times I had to pick up or bend down to my daughter in one day, and it was over 70. Just in case you’re suffering, here’s a couple of neck and back pain life hacks.
Firstly, don’t try and treat yourself until you’ve been able to get a proper diagnosis on what’s causing the pain. For example, the first time I had a trapped nerve in a neck vertebrae, I slept with a hot water bottle on my neck for a week before going to get it diagnosed. It turns out that heat, although temporarily soothing, will make a swollen nerve worse. If you know it’s a nerve issue, a bag of frozen peas placed for ten minutes the affected area to numb the nerve endings will help. This should be repeated for up to an hour before bed, and during the day if you feel like it. Before bed, it’ll help your chances of getting comfy and not being so stiff on wake up. I’ve demonstrated this move below. And am writing this with peas stuffed down the back of my bra. Party on.
My second tip is probably my favourite wellness life hack ever received. You don’t even need to be in terrible pain to love this one! Take one tennis ball and one clean sock. Add tennis ball to sock. Swing over shoulder and keep hold of the end. Place ball on affected muscle and stand against a wall, using the wall and your body as a ball sandwich to roll it around over the affected area. Control depth of massage by not leaning in so hard. This is the best, most effective muscle stress relief, particularly for shoulders. And it can be done alone and anywhere you have balls and a wall. So to speak.
It goes without saying that the manner in which you pick up your kids will help to safeguard against this. I found this American, yet very practical guide to doing it without hurting either you or the toddler. Good luck, enjoy your balls in socks. It’ll change your life!