Sore backs are soooo common, especially among moms.
Do you struggle with a sore back?
If you don't, I bet one of your friends does.
But why are sore backs a thing?
It sure makes doing all the bending, and lifting that you need to do as a mom waaaay more difficult than it already is!
Keep reading, and I will tell you how that pattern gets set up and what you can do about it to make chronic back pain a thing of the past.
Why mom's backs get sore...
When you start to think about what happens during pregnancy and then after we give birth, it starts to make more sense.
Pregnancy lasts 9 months for most people and through that 9 months our bodies change shape drastically. The baby grows from barely visible to pretty damn big and that last month of pregnancy can be pretty challenging for moving around.
If you think about that big baby inside of you, it pushes and squishes your organs up and down and spreads your rib cage wide open. It pushes out on your belly, stretching out the skin and muscles so that your back muscles need to do a lot more work than they are used to. Because it takes up so much space, your pelvic floor muscles, your ab muscles and your diaphragm cannot move the same way that they used to. It may even make it hard to breath. Now your body is amazing at adapting, that is it's main MO so it gets used to working so that the back does all the stabilizing.
As if that isn't enough, as soon as you actually give birth and your beautiful babe is out in the world, the back gets even more work. You may think this is from the lifting and hunching over your baby, but that isn't the big issue.
When the baby was inside you, your back had lot of stability, just because there was a good amount of pressure in your abdomen. If you think of weightlifters when they want more stability they wear a huge belt around their abdomen (not great for the pelvic floor by the way.) But right after you give birth there is no stability in the abdomen, there is no pressure at all, it is just all squishy and loosey goosey.
What a weird feeling!
This is when most people's backs ramp up into overdrive and often just don't ever stop overworking.
It isn't always the back though.
Sometimes instead of the back it is the butt and hips that ramp up to try and create stability when there isn't any. When that happens, it is literally, a pain in the butt.
There you have it. One of the main reasons why so many moms struggle with sore backs.
Right about now you are probably saying, fine Donyne but what can I DO about it?
That's a really good question. It isn't a simple answer but I will make it as simple as possible.
What to do to fix it...
To get most backs feeling good, there are a few things that need to be worked on all at the same time.
All those tight muscles need to learn how to let go. There are different ways to do that, foam rolling, mobilizing, breathing exercises, manual therapy, strength work, especially asking the muscles to get longer while under load. But at the same time you need to...
Activate and train the deep core system
Those overworking and tight back muscles are like that for a reason, because you need the stability! If you just release them, they will tighten up again unless you teach someone else to take over their job. Don't waste your time, make sure the deep core system is ready to take over! I'm not going to lie, it is a brain game here, which can be frustrating but is so rewarding when you start to get it. To make those two things happen you also need...
Ribcage, pelvis and hip mobility
All these areas need to be able to MOVE, if they can't, training the deep core system and releasing the back will fail. This can be simple, like pelvic tilts, cat cow, moving the hip in all directions while keeping the torso stable and breathing exercises. It's not rocket science, but it is amazing how little mobility and strength many of us have in these areas.
If you are in a shallow, shoulder, chest or even belly only breathing pattern, it is almost impossible to get the deep core to work and the back to relax.
And one more thing,
Especially in the butt, hips and feet.
All five of these things need to happen, and when they do, your back will start to feel better and better.
You can totally piece these things together on your own, but I recommend signing up for my Mothership online course for moms that runs every few months.
It addresses all of these things, as well as helping you create a daily habit of creating a bit of time for you. It is broken up into 5 minute chunks so it is easy to fit into your day. Learn more and sign up here.
If this was helpful for you and you know someone who could benefit from this article, share it with them and on social media!
Life is full enough without dealing with a sore back everyday.
Big love to you and your family
P.S. When you join Mothership, I encourage you to invite a friend to join you. It will help with motivation and you will get more value out of it cause you have someone to talk to about it. Who will you invite? Send them here.