Spinal cord bones
Chiropractic, Injury Prevention

5 Ways to Avoid Back Pain after Becoming a Parent

During pregnancy, your abdominal muscles stretch to accommodate your growing baby, which causes your core in general to weaken. Combine this with the demands of carrying your new bundle of joy and you become more at risk for back pain and injuries as your muscles are working overtime to support your spine.

Consider the fact that parents may be lifting a 7-10 pound baby 50 times a day! By 12 months your baby weighs approximately 17 pounds, and at 2 years, that child has become a 25-30 pound toddler.

Here are some simple tips to avoid injury while still enjoying every moment with your little one…

1. Lifting 

When picking up your child, stand with your feet at least shoulder width apart. Keep your back in a neutral position – you should have a curve in your low back inward towards your bellybutton – and bend your knees. Bring your baby as close to your chest as possible, and then lift using both arms straightening your legs.

2. Carrying 

When carrying your baby be sure to pivot your whole body with your feet rather than twisting your back. This will ensure that you’re turning with your hips and reduce the risk of back pain. Lower your child into the crib or floor by bending at your knees not at your hips.

3. Holding Your Baby

Hold your child in an upright position, directly against your chest. Carrying them on one hip or the other creates postural imbalances that can lead to aches and pains over time. Always make sure to support your baby with both hands and be conscious about their ability to hold their head up.  Keeping your baby close to your chest will give support to their head and neck.


4. Feeding Your Baby

Always sit in a chair that has a good back support and avoid leaning forward to reach your newborn’s mouth. Instead, use pillows to support your baby and position them closer to you so you can remain in an upright supported position and not lean in to them too much.

If bottle feeding or nursing, use a nursing pillow to provide support for your arms while holding your baby. 


5. Exercises

Healthy mother and baby making gymnastics

Exercises to strengthen your core can help to minimize the risk of back pain after having your little one. If you are a post-partum mom, make sure your midwife or OB clears you for physical activity before beginning any exercising. Another consideration is if you had Diastasis Rectii (splitting of your abdominal muscles) during pregnancy. This must be rehabilitated prior to beginning standard core exercises or you risk making the condition worse.

As a chiropractor, I see a lot of pregnant and postpartum women and parents that are sore from the new demands on their bodies. Chiropractic care can help you both during your pregnancy and after baby arrives to stay on your toes and feel great so you can enjoy every moment.

If you are pregnant or are postpartum, contact Stonetown Chiropractic and Wellness Centre to see the many different ways we can help you feel your best.  

Written in part by Dr. Lindsay Drew   adapted from The Ontario Chiropractic Association

 Dr. Lindsay Drew - Chiropractor

Chiropody, Injury Prevention

Quick Spring Jogging Tips

Spring is well under way, which means outdoor jogging season is upon us. It is always around this time of year when my office becomes flooded with questions about running. Here are a few tips that will help you and your body get the most out of those early Spring jogs.

Proper Footwear

Proper footwear is perhaps the most important factor in injury prevention. It is important to remember that everyone has unique feet. A running shoe that may be appropriate for your running partner may not be suitable for you. You should be wearing a shoe that fits your foot well. As there are many different types of running shoes, visit any shoe specialty store to have your foot examined and assessed for the shoe that best fits your needs. 

Warm Up and Cool Down

This is something that a lot of runners do not incorporate into the jogging routine, and can end up leading to injury. Having a simple warm up and cool down routine is essential in injury prevention. A good choice for warm up can be as simple as some gentle stretching. For cool down, many choose to slow from running speed to a brisk walk for at least 2 minutes.

Too Much, Too Fast

At this time of year, many runners are guilty of doing “too much, too fast”. The distance you were able to jog at the end of Summer last year, will likely be further than the distance achieved during your first few runs of Spring. It is important to temper your expectations, and allow your body to become conditioned to the endurace and intensity of a run. Pushing ourselves too far or too hard, can create several injuries that hold us back from exercise. Thus, it is important to start small and gradual increase our distance and intensity over time.

Shin Splints

Shin splints are one of the most common running/exercise related complaints that I see in my office. Shin splints are often described as pain in the “front” of the shins, which is caused by repetitive microtrauma. This microtrauma can arise from several factors, however, most are related to foot type and/or improper footwear. Activity modification (rest) and taping can help reduce symptoms. If the cause is related to foot type, orthotics may be useful in correcting any biomechanical abnormalities. If you are suffering from anterior shin pain before, during, or after your runs, book an appointment with a Chiropodist for a complete assessment and development of a treatment plan. 


Written by James Willmore

James Willmore - Chiropodist 

Injury Prevention

Winter Walking Lesson

Avoid Serious Injury

During late fall and all the way into early spring, we see our temperatures swing widely from well above zero to frigidly below.  Some days can seem quite warm giving us a sense of respite from the cold weather but we must still be careful going out and about during our Canadian Winters even on those nice days.  Icy side walks and streets make walking outdoors dangerous for people of all ages especially on the many hills of St. Marys.  Rainfall will freeze, snow will melt, and both are going to create a slippery surface that can be difficult to walk on.

Do the Penguin Walk!

Not only are penguins awesome, they have (pretty much) mastered the art of walking on ice. Walking like a penguin can help reduce the amount of injuries related to falls including strains, sprains, and fractures.

  • Bend slightly and walk flat footed
  • Point your feet out slightly like a penguin
  • Keep your centre of gravity over your feet as much as possible
  • Watch where you are stepping
  • Take shorter, shuffle-like steps
  • Keep your arms at your sides (not in your pockets!)
  • Concentrate on keeping your balance
  • Go S-L-O-W-L-Y

The following is a quick diagram which illustrates the proper way to walk during icy conditions.

Photo credit: https://uhr.umd.edu

Written by James Willmore

James Willmore - Chiropodist