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Lately, several clients have come in with pain issues that might be avoided with a review of their environmental influences. Usually these influencers are related to the work environment but home and family also play a role in ergonomics. Here's an article I wrote several years ago to address some of these issues.

Ergonomics is the science of making improvements to your work space and daily tasks to more efficiently fit your body and routine.  Its goal is to prevent pain and injury.  How does ergonomics apply to parenting?  Many mothers and grand parents of young children sustain injuries from lifting and carrying them longer than they should.  Once a child starts walking they should be weaned from these behaviors as they can cause wrist, forearm, and shoulder injuries as well as lower back pain to the adult from their repetitive nature.  A better position to address a young child’s needs is getting down to their level by squatting, kneeling, or bending to eye level.  Holding their arm while speaking, hugging them, or sitting down and holding the child in your lap will meet their need for love and attention without increasing your own risk of injury. The warning signs that can occur in your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, neck, hips, or back include:

Continued

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Tags: client, ergonomics, family, injury, issues, pain, prevention, risk, work

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Comment by Robin Byler Thomas on August 23, 2012 at 8:11am

Hmmmm, interesting. I'd actually not considered your points before as new moms rarely have time to come into my practice until their children are older and in pre-school.

Now that you mention it however, I do remember propping my arm up with a pillow when breast feeding for support while sitting and lying on my side frequently to nurse as well. Thanks for your comments Stephen!

Comment by Stephen Jeffrey on August 23, 2012 at 4:35am

Great blog Robin, it's so sad that at what should be a time of great joy in bringing a new life into this world  is often accompanied by great deal of pain.

Some women seem to have an over production of the chemical relaxin. Returning to the gym or lifting heavy objects before ligaments have "reset" can cause lots of problems.

When breast feeding I encourage  mum to be lying down so the weight of the baby can be supported against mum's body and not held in place by the arm. :)  

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