Tag Archives: back pain prevention class for parents and carers

reducing back pain associated with picking Up Your Kids

Children.  They’re little bundles of joy and we love to pick them up and cuddle or play with them, but who of you find that since you have kids, you’ve been experiencing an ache in your lower back?

Why is this?  They’re small, we’re big and surely we’re strong enough to move them around anyway we like?

Well, part of the problem lies in the fact that they’re small and we’re big, or, rather tall.  When we go to pick these little people up, it means that we have to bend down quite low, close to the ground to reach them.

Now if you find yourself picking up your little one as in the picture below, you will definitely end up with lower back pain.

poor child lifting technique, lower back pain, lack of lumbar lordosis

“Bending the back when lifting a child from the floor” by CS Body Health cc. All Rights Reserved. 2016

Most of us don’t like bending our knees when we go down quickly to pick something up off from the ground.  Why is this?  Well, it takes more energy to bend your knees than to bend your back, and naturally we avoid using unnecessary energy.

“Bending your knees while keeping the legs together strains the quadriceps muscles” by CS Body Health cc. All Rights Reserved. 2016

However, what people don’t realise, is that if you use your legs differently, you can reduce the effective weight of your child a lot when you lift them for various biomechanical reasons.   In other words, your child will feel lighter and you will get a lot less back pain if you do this:

  1. Open your legs WIDE.  Wide enough so that when you bend your knees slightly, your knees don’t feel strained and you can reach your child.
  2. Pull them as close to your belly button as you can before you pick them up. (MUCH CLOSER THAN IN THE PHOTO)
  3. Pick them up in this posture, and THEN stand up straight.
  4. Compare the feeling in your back to this new way to your old slouching way.  You will feel a considerable difference in the loading on your back.

When they get a bit bigger – get them to stand up on a chair or box and pick them up close to you from a height where you don’t need to bend your knees or your back.

"Bending the knees with the legs wide apart" by CS Body Health cc. All Rights Reserved. 2016
“Bending the knees with the legs wide apart” by CS Body Health cc. All Rights Reserved. 2016
"Good child lifting technique" by CS Body Health cc. All Rights Reserved. 2016
“Good child lifting technique” by CS Body Health cc. All Rights Reserved. 2016