Don't Let Your Baby Become a Pain in the Neck! Chiropractic care can help.
We see a lot of new mothers in our office and one of the biggest complaints (other than lack of sleep) is neck and upper back pain. We often use the term Nursing Mother's Neck, but the condition is not limited to nursing mothers it also effects those mommies who bottle feed their babies. The perpetual task of feeding your baby can cause a repetitive sprain strain injury to the neck, upper back and mid back. This injury can cause pain, burning, numbness and tingling in the neck, upper back, shoulder blade area, and arms. Headaches are a common symptom as well. Pain often occurs due to the posture mothers sit in while feeding for 20-30 minutes, every few hours every day. Mothers are often gazing down looking at their beautiful child when feeding causing an excessive sprain strain. This flexed forward position in their neck causes strain and inflamation in the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the posterior neck musculature.When women are pregnant they often lose the neck curve from the forward weight distribution of the baby in their belly, this anterior forward head carriage continues through the post partum period with the nursing or the bottle feeding position. Avoid this neck strain and sprain by leaning or reclining back to nurse/feed baby.I will often recommend mothers to use a moist heating pad across the neck and shoulders while nursing to relax the over stressed muscles and to increase relaxation- thus letting the milk flow easier. Using a foot stool to support the feet in the reclined position often helps as well. Many mothers come too far forward to the baby instead of bringing the baby back to the breast to latch, especially first time nursing mothers. Using a nursing pillow or a combination of pillows to help support the baby will take some strain off the arms and shoulders while feeding.
Chiropractic care is a effective and all natural treatment for neck and upper back pain and repetitive strain injuries. A gentle upper back and neck adjustment realigns the spine and takes the stress off of the ligaments, muscles and nerves so that proper motion is restored to the cervical and thoracic spine. In our office we also combine massage therapy and stretching into our treatments for more effective pain relief. Many mothers comment on the pain relief they get from a chiropractic adjustment in the neck and upper back area. The adjustment often can also help with some nursing difficulties such as low milk supply, better lymphatic flow, plugged ducts and mastitis.