We’re all guilty of it, taking our health for granted that is. It’s only when something goes wrong that we realise just how precious it is.
My wake up call came this morning. Now I’ve long prided myself on my ability to lift not just Immy (who is 2stone plus) but her buggy as well.My rule is that once I can no longer do this, then really Immy shouldn’t be using the buggy any more – kind of like my own personal health and safety rule.
I reckon I can lift it fairly safely, so long as I bend from the knees, not the back and I keep the distance I have to carry it to a minimum. This morning I broke that rule when we were rushing for the train, instead of getting Immy to walk up the stairs and over the bridge I lift her up and down two flights of stairs to the city bound platform of our local train station. The moment I lifted the buggy I felt a twinge, not unlike that I got in the latter stages of pregnancy.
As the morning wore on it became apparent that I had indeed done ’something’ to my lower back and that appears also to have aggravated a shoulder twinge I picked up while working in an office last summer.
The lady in Boots, and the queue behind me, all had advice on what painkillers to take – the consensus was that I needed something serious – codeine and ibuprofen. I glugged two tablets down there and then. The rest of the day was a bit trippy but I made it through and Immy got her swimming lesson and a three hour play in the park.
I’ve also made an appointment to see a physio on Friday morning.
But don’t be like me, take the advice of experts at The Shoulder Doctor, whom I discovered thanks to a well timed press release on minor injuries sent to journos this afternoon.
Apparently, and of course we know this, you don’t have to be doing ‘bravado’ stuff like picking up a buggy with a child to do your back in. Any of these sound familiar?
- aches and pains from carrying the weekly food shop home
- repetitive strain injury from washing and blowdrying hair, playing tennis, golf
- carrying your baby
- ‘iPad shoulder’ -using modern technology on the sofa etc so you slouch
- poor posture at your desk or in the work place
Tony Kochhar from the ShoulderDoctor has the following tips to avoid lower back injuries, I know some of them sound obvious but you may just want to remind yourself of them.
- Never lift above shoulder height.
- Keep your heels on the ground and make sure you are on a stable surface
- Take a firm hold.
- Keep any weight close to your body, not at arms length
- Keep your back straight and bend your knees.
- Lift as smoothly as possible – no jerky movements
He’s also given me some exercises designed to be used as gentle exercises for a lower back strain as telling me to keep taking the non steroidal anti-inflammatory tablets. Before you take any medication remember to consult with your GP before taking any pain relief; I know I can tolerate most types of pain relief because giving birth to my daughter involved such huge amounts of the stuff.