Mothers at risk for back pain

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Mothers may have an increased risk of back pain from carrying children. In a new small study, 64% of mothers reported pain in the lower back.

Researchers from New Zealand asked 25 mothers aged 28-40 years to rate their pain levels as they performed routine tasks. They also observed mothers as they lifted children in various ways.

Several factors were found to increase low-back pain risk including the child’s weight, the mother’s grip, reaching above the shoulder or below the mid-thigh, tight space constraints, and combining rotation and side-bending with lifting children.

Another new study of female health-care workers suggests that lifting with an upright position and avoiding heavy loads could reduce back-pain risk. Just as proper posture and lighter loads assisted health-care workers frequently lifting patients, these techniques could also help mothers carrying kids on a daily basis.

More research is needed to learn whether teaching mothers safe lifting practices could decrease their likelihood of developing back pain.

Reference

Vincent R and Hocking C. Factors that might give rise to musculoskeletal disorders when mothers lift children in the home. Physiother Res Int 2012; doi:10.1002/pri.1530.

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