Have a question? Ask us! We specialize in all aspects of fitness and wellness for pregnant women and moms, and are specialists in abdominal restructuring, core strengthening and posture. Send an email to Heidi Moon, Founder of spabebe, at email@example.com or to Beena Aurora, Doctor of Physical Therapy and spabebe's NYC Lead Trainer and Physical Therapist, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if it is OK to post a Q&A summary of your question (no names), as great moms think alike... and often share similar concerns!
Beena Aurora DPT,PT,CSCS,DTP
Q: My baby is 8 months old, I lost all my weight, but I have horrible low back and right neck and shoulder pain. I feel completely crooked! What should I do?
A: First, you should definitely speak to your doctor about this and get a hands-on assessment. This is not an uncommon issue -thanks for letting us post. During your pregnancy, your low back muscles were busy getting tighter and tighter while your abdominal muscles were getting long and weak. You need to rebuild your body's natural corset (our favorite "transverse" muscle!) which will help with the low back pain and counteract the many imbalances created in pregnancy. You may also have a diastasis which would contribute to the pain as well. In a seated position, exhale as you bring your belly button towards your spine. Hold it there for 10 seconds, then do 10 tiny pulses. This starts the strengthening of the transverse and the healing of the diastasis.
Regarding the neck and shoulder pain - it is possible that you may be favoring your right side and holding your baby frequently on the right side? Again, the imbalances created in your body do not usually remedy themselves naturally. Your chest muscles became shorter and tigher from the growing frontal weight of your tummy and breasts. Your upper back muscles likely became longer and weaker, creating a possible accentuated curve in your upper spine going affecting your neck and shoulders. I highly recommend you see a specialized trainer, physical therapist or medical professional to assess in person. Two simple things to try: 1.) Wear a baby carrier to avoid carrying weight of baby too much on one side. 2.) The Chest Stretch exercises. This will work towards stretching the chest muscles, while strengthening the upper back. This improves posture. As a result, many clients experience reduced neck, upper back and shoulder issues.
CHEST STRETCH - Sit or stand. - Holding a dynaband (also OK to use no resistance or just a scarf if you do not have a dynaband) in each hand, extend your arms straight out to each side away from your body. - Arms should be about shoulder height, palms facing to the front, dynaband stretched across chest from hand to hand creating resistance. - Relax your shoulders, try relaxing them away from your ears and towards the ground. - Pretend that you are trying to squeeze a quarter between each shoulder blade. Squeeze and hold for 3 counts. - Repeat 10 times. This is one set. - Do 5-10 sets per day.
Again, these are general recommendations. It is always best to see a specialized trainer, physical therapist or medical professional and get a hands-on assessment and recommendation! We hope this helps!
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