5 tips on how to manage neck pain for new mums.

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Life has just got crazy. You’ve welcomed a new life into the world and all the joy that comes with that – the closeness, cuddles and cute noises. But also the sleepless nights, the working out what that noise means and the countless nappy changes.

So on top of all that a new episode of neck pain is the last thing you need!

Here’s 5 quick tips to help with neck pain for new mums (because you don’t have time to read a rambling blog!):

1. Change your posture up

One common reason that neck pain hangs around for new mums is all the bending over you have to do: changing nappies, breastfeeding, lifting bubs, patting them in the cot….

So keep it simple by standing tall and get you

2. Get active

You might not necessarily feel like it after having only 45 minutes sleep last night but getting active can make a big impact on your pain and energy levels.

Neck pain typically does well with upright movements – think going for a walk or run, body weight exercises at home or a gym session focussing on lighter loads above head and heavier lower limb work.

Getting your heart rate up into higher zones is a great way for you body to release a bunch of chemicals that can help modulate pain.

3. Breastfeeding pillows

Breastfeeding often involves a lot of forward head posture and looking down. This is a common position that can aggravate neck pain. Using a pillow (there’s heaps of different options out there) for breastfeeding can help position the baby better to avoid you having to sustained that bent forward head posture.

Sitting back and more upright or changing positions regularly can also help neck pain that’s aggravated during prolonged sitting or breast feeding.

4. Get sleep when you can

I know right – if only!

Poor sleep affects pain. Whilst you probably aren’t getting the sort of sleep you used to or would like taking opportunities during the day to nap can help make the best of the situation. Short power naps (less than 45 minutes) can be more useful in managing neck pain when the nights are interrupted.

5. Get assessed by a physio (or try to assess yourself – see video)

If your neck pain is persisting despite trialling the above, a physio assessment can be useful. Sometimes neck pain needs some specific exercise to resolve. The good news here is that most neck pain will resolve quickly with the right exercises.

Establishing what the best exercises are for you is where a physio can help. But here is a video that may help you work out for yourself what the best exercise for you is…

Neck pain is common and the vast majority of episodes resolve fully without any ongoing issues. So hang in there and know that despite the pain the prognosis is positive!

 

Tim Cathers

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