If you are struggling with upper back pain as a new mother then please read on. We know how hard it is to balance the demands of a new baby, interrupted sleep, huge routine changes and additional stress, not to mention dealing with back pain as well.
What Causes postpartum back pain
- Prolonged postures during nursing and breastfeeding
- Reduced sleep and awkward sleep postures
- Increases in stress associated with parenting a newborn
- Physiological changes that occur during pregnancy resulting in weakness of back and core muscles
Common signs and symptoms of postpartum back pain
The most common symptoms that we see with postpartum back pain include:
- Aching or tight pain in the upper trapezius or shoulder region which may extend up into the neck
- Stiffness and lack of movement through both sides of the neck
- Headaches often starting around the scalp area spreading into the temporal and orbital regions
- Aching or tight pain between the shoulder blades and across the upper back
- Sharp ‘stabbing’ pain underneath the shoulder blades
- Poor posture, increased slouching through the upper back and base of the neck
At home remedies for postpartum upper back and neck pain
As with most pain and injuries, there are often steps you can take at home to reduce or prevent pain. We find there are a few things that help our new mums suffering with back pain.
Being mindful of posture particularly whilst nursing and breastfeeding can make a huge difference. We understand that perfect posture is not going to be on the top of your list at this stage in life, but even by making small improvements we can see an improvement. Alternating your posture or position with each feed is a great way to ensure you don’t get too strained in any one position
Prioritising sleep and rest during the postpartum stage is hugely important. When you are overtired pain will be harder to manage and your central nervous system will be on high alert.
Keeping active with movement and mobility. Although difficult at times with the constraints of being a new mum, keeping active such as going for walks, doing some yoga or stretching or even light resistance exercises is a great way to rebuild your strength and help prevent postpartum back pain.
For more info check out our other blog post all about Relieving Shoulder Blade Pain at Home.
How do we treat postpartum back pain in the clinic?
At Fortitude Chiropractic we use multiple techniques to most effectively manage postpartum upper back and neck pain so you can get relief.
We utilise hands-on treatments including spinal adjustments (spinal manipulative therapy) and spinal mobilisation to improve range of motion and help with pain. These are often used in combination with trigger point dry needling and soft tissue therapy to treat muscular tension.
Our team will put together a practical but effective plan of at home exercises that you can do in order to help improve range of motion and flexibility through your back and neck. We often recommend simple at home strengthening exercises to start to rebuild upper back and core strength to help alleviate postpartum pain.
Lifestyle advice including managing sleep and recovery as well as appropriate postures for breastfeeding and nursing are also an important part of our treatment.