At Apex Physical Therapy, the health and safety of our patients and our employees is always our top priority. In light of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments, we are committed to following updates and keeping our patients, team member and communities informed and safe. Learn More:

Now Offering Telehealth & Now Scheduling In-Clinic Visits in May

As always we are here to enhance your health and well being, offering you treatments to allow you to feel, move and be better. Apex Physical Therapy is happy to announce that we can now provide physical therapy and wellness services remotely through telehealth.
Click here to learn more as well as book an appointment.

You’ve heard of tendonitis, tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome. Known medically as repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) as they’re often caused by the repetitive use of certain parts of the body, these conditions cover a wide range of painful and/or uncomfortable ailments of the muscles, tendons, nerves and other soft tissues. 

They’re also often associated with an occupation or some type of recreational activity, such as tennis or golf. 

And parenting. 

Moms and dads throughout the world will contend that the repetitive lifting, holding, carrying and rocking of their babies and toddlers earned them the right to their own ailment – call it “Bundle-itis of Joy Syndrome,” perhaps. But while other RPIs are specific to a particular part of the body, repetitive motions related to parenting commonly cause aches, pains and discomfort in several upper-body locations such as the back, neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists. 

“I’m constantly treating moms who are suffering from repetitive-stress injuries that result from the wear and tear of being a parent,” said Peggy Brill, a New York City physical therapist (PT) and author of the book “The Core Program.” 

The culprit in many cases, according to Brill and Mary Ellen Modica, a PT at Schwab STEPS Rehabilitation in Chicago, is the chronic use of poor posture while performing everyday parenting tasks like lifting and carrying a baby, picking up toys from the floor, pushing a stroller and lugging around an infant car seat. 

“Carrying an infant car seat on your arm is the equivalent to walking around with three or four full paint cans in one hand, something most people wouldn’t do, but yet, they’ll carry a car seat that way,” Modica said. 

Such awkward and stressful postures can lead to tenderness, pain, throbbing and tingling in muscles and joints, all common signs of RSI, according to Medical News Today

These ailments, however, can be avoided by simply being mindful of the body while performing these common parenting feats. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) offers the following tips for maintain good posture and avoiding repetitive stress injuries while parenting or babysitting: 

Lifting Baby from the Crib: Don’t reach and hold your baby at arm’s length as this places a tremendous amount of pressure on the back. Instead, lower the crib railing to its lowest setting, set your feet shoulder-width apart and bring your baby close to your body before lifting. Lower and lift with the legs with your back arched. 

Lifting Your Child from the Floor: Use what’s called the half-kneel lift for optimal posture. Standing close to your child, back straight, step forward with one foot and lower yourself to one knee. Keeping the child close to your body, grab him or her with both arms and lift with your legs. Reverse these steps when setting the child down to the floor. 

Carrying Your Toddler: Don’t hold the child with one arm and/or balanced on your hip. This can strain your back and the ligaments on one side of the body. Instead, hold him or her close to your chest, legs wrapped around your waist, balanced in the center of your body. 

Lugging Around that Infant Car Seat: Never carry the car seat to one side of your body or lug it around on your forearm like you would a purse or handbag. This can put unneeded stress on the back, shoulder and your arm. To avoid this, carry the seat by the handle with both hands, elbows bent, holding it in front of your body with weight evenly distributed. 

According to Brill, strong abdominal, back, pelvic and hip muscles can reduce a parent or caretaker’s risk of developing RSIs. Talk to your physical therapy about strategies for treating RSIs, as well as for developing a customized resistance-training regimen designed to address your personal strength deficiencies.