Having children is well known to be an exhausting and full-time job. For at least a decade, they demand nearly full attention and heightened activity on the parents’ part. Everything from doing laundry to chasing them around can be physically demanding. It is important to take care of your own body as well as theirs throughout the demanding role of parenting. Repetitive motion, as well as aging, can contribute to injuries over time, which can cause a massive hindrance to our ability to perform day-to-day activities. As we’re running around with our children, we become more prone to injury or small tears in muscles or ligaments. Seeing a doctor regularly to make sure you are as healthy as you can be is important not only for you but for your children as well – we want to be there for as much of their lives as possible.
All activities can make us prone to injury. Everything from running after the kids to reaching for something high on a shelf can leave us doubled over in pain. Parents who are a little older are even more prone to such injuries or illnesses over time as the body’s functions are slowing down. This isn’t the end of the world, though – it just means that we need to take more care to avoid injury. Some simple ways you can avoid injury during parenting are:
Staying Active: it is not entirely necessary that you can run a marathon, but making a point to get your body moving relatively frequently can do wonders for the body as it ages. Low-impact exercise such as going for a walk or yoga can improve strength and blood flow without feeling like it. It’s important to stay active for many reasons, but the main ways it can help prevent injury are:
The frequent activity can help prevent future injury by improving circulation so that if an injury does occur, the proper healing properties can get to it.
It is also helpful to strengthen muscles, which will provide support throughout the body if an injury occurs.
Improved flexibility is also important to give the body support, as well as sustain mobility after an injury. For example, if a tendon in the shoulder is torn, it may limit the range of motion of the arm, but prolonged flexibility will help it to heal faster and get back to where it once was.
Avoid Strenuous Activity: if your fitness level doesn’t allow you to spend the day swimming with your child, for example, you can still enjoy time at the beach without straining your body. If an activity is painful or demanding to your body, limit it as much as possible and be careful while doing it. Pain during activity is often an indicator of an injury or the precursor to one so be aware of what your body is telling you, especially during an activity you don’t typically partake in.
Check-In With Your Doctor: make sure that you have a clear line of communication established with your doctor. They may be able to guide your fitness in the correct direction based on your family history, current fitness level, and previous injury. If you’ve suffered an injury in the past, they are likely to recommend that you do activities that don’t put too much pressure on that area.
Eating Right: a balanced diet is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It won’t prevent injury, but it will provide your body with all of the vitamins, nutrients, healthy fats, and proteins necessary to not only fuel an active lifestyle but provide the best possible environment for an injury to heal.
Getting Enough Sleep: it can be very difficult to get the right amount of sleep with kids around; every stage of life from newborn babies to teenagers can present opportunities to lose sleep. Talk to your doctor or friends and family about what works for them so that you can establish a routine that works for you and allows you to get as much sleep as possible. Our bodies heal while we are sleeping which is especially important if you have an active lifestyle, as muscles that are being used need this rest to regain strength. Similar to eating well, it won’t prevent injury but it will set the stage for an injury to heal faster.
These are just a few things you can do to set your body up for a long and healthy life. These may vary depending on your specific needs, location, or the needs of your children, but the baseline here is to not forget to take care of yourself. It can be easy to get lost in the day-to-day activities of parenthood, so much so that you may forget to take some time for yourself. Exercise can be a great way to take “me time” without taking away from quality time spent with your children.
If an injury does occur, it is important to listen to what your doctor has to say about healing. In many cases, a mild injury will need only some simple rest and limited activity to heal. This can be coupled with anti-inflammatory medication, and sometimes doctors will even recommend physical therapy depending on the extent of the injury. There is another form of treatment called regenerative therapy that might be able to offer even more support throughout the healing process.
You may have heard of a new field in science called regenerative medicine or therapy. This includes two types of therapy:
Stem Cell Therapy: this form of treatment involves harvesting stem cells from a patient’s own cells, then processing them and reinjecting them to the site of an injury. Stem cells work by calling to other cells in the body with healing properties so that they surround an injury and help it to heal faster.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy: similar to stem cells, blood is drawn and processed and then reinjected to a problem area. PRP therapy isolates the plasma from the platelets in the blood – platelets are what contain vital proteins and growth factors. Injecting platelets into an injury site allows it to heal more quickly by increasing the levels of properties that would be aiding the healing process anyway.
Both of these forms of regenerative medicine involve taking the patient’s own natural processes and sort of enhancing them so that they can speed up the healing process. In both forms of treatment, doctors use imaging techniques such as MRI imaging to pinpoint the exact location of injury where the injection will go.
The recovery time for an injury will depend on the extent of the injury, but in most cases, regenerative medicine can speed this up. By amplifying the body’s own healing properties, an injury could be only a blip on the screen of your life rather than a life-altering hindrance.
Regenerative therapies have a low risk and a high success rate for mild injuries. They work best on soft tissue injuries, so if you are suffering from a muscle or ligament tear, joint pain, damaged tendons, or even carpal tunnel, regenerative medicine can help. There are hundreds of other conditions which regenerative medicine can offer a solution to. Talk to a specialist to learn how they can help you to maintain your lifestyle.
Keeping up with kids can be physically demanding and exhausting. It can be even more so if you are suffering from an injury. There are ways to prevent injuries, but if one does occur there are plenty of treatment options available. Regenerative medicine should be included in the discussion of a treatment plan, as it offers a faster recovery time, which ultimately means you can spend more time doing the activities you and your family enjoy.