Dads Can Have Growing Pains, Too!
There’s no joy quite like that of being a dad. The rewards that come
with watching your children grow, teaching them new ideas and
spending time playing and interacting with them have no comparison.
There’s no job like being a father, and it can be one of the most
wonderful roles a man can have.
But along with the joys come the challenges, including physical
aches and pains that you may not have anticipated. Children, it
turns out, are not the only ones who experience growing pains. And
while being a dad is certainly worth a little pain now and then,
there are ways to prevent or alleviate those unexpected backaches,
muscle strains, headaches, neck aches... Well, you get the point.
In honor of Father’s Day, Charles Friedman, M.D., pain management
specialist at Pain Relief Centers in Pinellas Park, offers some tips
for dads to prevent pain and enjoy fatherhood to its fullest. And
it’s great advice for grandfathers, too!
Protect Your Back:
Being a dad can take quite the toll on your back. Certain activities
simply come with the job of being a father, and many of them put a
lot of stress on the spine and its muscles. For example, you lift
your child in and out of the car seat, highchair or bed several
times a day. You may carry your 30-pound toddler on one side of the
body and put undo stress on back muscles. And who can resist a big
smile and a “pick me up, Daddy” from the little one standing three
feet below you on the living room floor?
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a younger or older father,” says
Friedman, “these activities are bound to have an effect on your
back. So both taking care of yourself and making sure to lift your
children properly will make a world of difference in preventing back
pain.” The following tips will help reduce that Daddy back pain you
may be feeling:
Make sure to exercise and keep your back muscles strong. Strong
muscles reduce the stress on the spine and reduce the chance of
Before lifting the little one, hold him/her close to your body
instead of lifting with outstretched arms.
Bend at your knees and not your waist when picking your child up
from the floor. Squat down and lift with your legs.
Kneel on the back seat instead of standing outside the car when
placing your child in he car seat.
Carry your child at the front of your body instead of the hip to
lessen the stress put on one side of the body.
Don’t Strain Yourself!
One of the best parts of being a dad is getting out and spending
playtime with your kids. Whether its playing baseball, racing in the
backyard or attending a tea party with your child and five stuffed
animals, it’s always fun to interact with your kids. Keep in mind,
however, that you have to pay attention to how you’re moving your
body when pretending to pitch to Babe Ruth or having tea in that
playhouse. Because while you’re having fun, you may strain a muscle.
And muscle strains are no fun at all.
“Muscle strains, or what are often called ‘pulled muscles,’ occur
when your muscles are simply stretched beyond their normal
limitations,” says Friedman. “These can generally be prevented
simply by maintaining a good physical fitness level and stretching
prior to engaging in physical activity.” So warm up before you start
playing catch with your kids. And if you’re six feet tall, that 3
foot playhouse just may not be the best place for you to fit. You
aren’t a contortionist, after all!
Keep Stress at Bay:
Being a father is a big responsibility. And while it’s one that is
happily welcomed, with responsibility comes a certain level of
stress, especially if you’re trying to strike a balance between work
and family life. Not to mention the stress that comes with always
wanting to protect, nurture and care for your child. However, if not
controlled, this can lead to tension headaches and neck pain.
Fortunately, tension headaches are easy to prevent. Since stress is
a main trigger for these pains, alleviating stress can alleviate
your pain. Sure, we all want to be Superman for our children, but
sometimes you just have to take a step back and take care of
yourself, as well. So somewhere in your day, take some time for you;
time to relax and take a little stress off of your shoulders (and
neck, head and back).
So this Father’s Day, prop up your feet and enjoy your day with a
little rest and relaxation. Relieve stress by playing with your
kids. Throw around a football, play hide and seek, or enjoy whatever
activity your children’s imaginations can dream up. Just make sure
to stretch first.
Pain Relief Centers are multi-specialty practices that use a
combination of innovative and minimally invasive treatments that
help relieve patients’ pain and improve their quality of life. Pain
Relief Centers’ Board-Certified physicians utilize advanced
technology and interventional therapies to diagnose and treat pain
effectively. Pain Relief Centers’ comprehensive approach ranges from
osteopathic manipulation and nerve ablation to minimally invasive
spine procedures. Pain Relief Centers treat a variety of conditions
such as neck and arm pain, back and leg pain, complex regional pain
syndrome, degenerative disc disease, failed back syndrome, herniated
discs, and spinal stenosis.
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