Those new born days and weeks for most women can be described as a being a bubble of love and awe at what your body has produced. During the nine months prior to this we invest so much time making sure we eat healthy, exercise wisely and educate ourselves of what’s to come.
We may have attended ante natal classes that focus on breastfeeding and focus on how to get that perfect latch. Some mothers and babies take to it easily but many have obstacles to overcome, such as suboptimal latch, tongue tie and nipple pain.
Breastfeeding is supposed to be the most natural thing in the world but it isn’t in anyway easy.
Someone that is often neglected at this precious time is the mum. It can affect us in so many ways particularly emotionally, mentally and also physically.
How does breastfeeding physically affect the mum?
Many postpartum women who attend the clinic have issues with neck pain, mid back pain, headaches, low back pain and even referred pain into the arm/ hand. Basically their posture is inadvertently suffering from all that nursing, cuddling, holding and carrying of their little one.
Of course this doesn’t just apply to nursing mothers but also to those that bottle feed.
Tips on how you can help yourself:
It’s important to ‘check in’ every so often when you’re feeding to make sure you’re not hunching over your baby constantly. This will put strain on those postural muscles and local joints.
Bring the baby to you and use supports such as a nursing pillow to help.
Look at changing nursing position if possible. For example try laid back nursing where you can relax more during feeding.
Foam roll your mid back little and often to relieve tension.
Start doing some gentle stretches for your mid back, chest, neck and hips.
Chiropractic, soft tissue therapies and dry needling are excellent tools for relieving joint restrictions and muscle tension. As well as these, stability exercises are given to make sure these areas are better able to withstand the demands of everyday parenting.
If you are still in discomfort or experience an increase in symptoms consult your local health professional or contact us today for a consultation.
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Dry needling is a minimally invasive procedure in which an acupuncture needle is inserted directly into a muscle (known as a myofascial trigger point – MTrP). An MTrP is a highly localized, hyperirritable spot in a palpable, taut band of skeletal muscle fibers. Essentially an MTrP is a knot within a muscle. 74-85% of patients with pain present with MTrPs in their area of discomfort.
Dry needling an MTrP is most effective when local ‘twitch responses’ are elicited, probably because of rapid depolarization of the involved muscle fibers, which manifests as local twitches. Once the needle hits a tight part of the muscle, the patients’ muscle can twitch. After the muscle has finished twitching, the spontaneous electrical activity subsides and the pain and dysfunction decrease dramatically.
Dry needling breaks up muscle tightness, tension, knots and scar tissue. It helps in reducing muscle spasms, pain and muscle sensitivity. More specifically, dry needling has been proven to be very effective for low back pain. It provides pain relief and functional improvement in those with chronic low back pain and lumbar myofascial pain. Evidence suggests the improvements are further enhanced when the muscle is stretched afterwards. Needling deep into the muscle has been shown to be more effective than superficial needling. Howver, over the areas of the lungs or large blood vessels, superficial dry needling has been shown to be more appropriate and just as effective. Dry needling is a very safe method of treating muscular injuries and pains, and adverse side effects post treatment are very rare.
If you are suffering with muscular pain and tightness, please do not hesitate to contact us to book a consultation
Yours in Health,
The Lawlor Clinic Portlaoise
Chiropractic | Active Release Techniques (ART®) | Functional Range Conditioning (FRC®)
The most common type of headaches are tension headaches. Most of us have likely experienced one at some point in our lives. Headaches can usually be tolerated by most of us if they happen only on rare occasion, or at least infrequent enough to bother us. But what about when you start getting headaches more than once a month? What about every week? And at the extreme, multiple times a week? These symptoms are your body trying to tell you that something is not right! So what’s the cause of these headaches? And what can we do to help?
Causes of Tension Headaches:
Do you get headaches that start at the back of your neck or shoulders? Do you feel pressure around your head? These are some of the symptoms of tension headaches. Unlike some of the other types of headaches, tension headaches usually have a mechanical cause. Mechanical meaning a more physical cause. For example, dysfunction in the muscles of the neck, head, shoulders, and in the joints of the neck. Specifically the muscles at the base of the skull, the suboccipital muscles, are some of the most commonly implicated muscles with these headaches.
What Triggers these Muscles to Tense Up?
Forward head posture: working with head in a prolonged flexed position for too long
Stress: many people “hold” their stress at the top of the shoulders and with these muscles connecting up into the neck and head, too much tightness here can lead to headaches.
Grinding teeth/ Jaw problems
How we treat Tension Headache?
The good news for those who suffer from these type of headaches, is that they respond very well to conservative care, which is what the Lawlor Clinic specialises in! We use Active Release Techniques ®, to provide a targeted release to the problem muscles and tissues, and manipulation or mobilisation to the joints in the spine, and other therapies including Dry Needling and Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation (DNS) to help you get back to focusing on life instead of focusing on a headache.
If you are still unsure, contact us today for a quick chat to see how we can help!
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic: Portlaoise
Chiropractic | Physiotherapy | Active Release Techniques (ART®)