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The Postpartum Upper Body + Mommy Arm

Posted by Jesse Lillejord on
The postpartum journey is a wonderful next chapter for mamas + baby, but it comes along with some different "stress" areas. After pregnancy, there is a lot more upper body involvement with caring for a little one. 
Mommy arm is a very real component to the postpartum body. All that time spent holding babe, twisting your hand + wrist + shoulder in strange positions, and sleeping like a contortionist - take a toll on the body!  
mommy arm
There are 3 major components to the postpartum upper body: 
1. neck
2. shoulder / upper back
3. wrist / elbow
Below are our top recommendations for how to combat the postpartum mom upper body + mommy arm: 
The nerves that exit out of the neck travel all the way down into the armpit, past the elbow and into the hand. Often with the constant holding / carrying of babes these structures become tight and are held in "awkward positions". This can cause nerve pain or just general soreness + tension in these areas! 
Getting adjusted helps improve joint mobility, reduce muscle tension + compensation patterns while you care for your little!
postpartum neck pain
Below are some easy at home stretches to relieve neck pain postpartum. These techniques are simple, and can be performed anywhere! 
1. upper trap stretch 
2. anterior neck [ scalene ] muscle stretch 
3. eagle arm 
4. thoracic extension 
See video for full demonstration:  
 Home remedies for neck pain can also be very helpful. Soaking in an epsom salt bath is not only relaxing, but helps to reduce inflammation due to the high concentration of magnesium in the salt! You can add ~ 2 cups of salt to warm water for 20 minutes! 
Another option is to use an ice pack! As much as we love heat - icing can be a great option to reduce pain + inflammation in a sore neck. The best part is that you don't have to buy anything, just borrow one fro your kiddos lunch bag! Another option is one like this here
Below are some of our favorite at-home products to combat postpartum neck pain:  
neck pain
HOMCA Cervical Pillow
Memory Foam Neck Contour Pillow
Nursing Neck Pillow
neck pain 
Neck + Shoulder Relaxer
 Trigger Point Massage Cane
Theragun Mini Massager 
Shoulder + Upper Back 
 Carrying babes around all day takes a toll on your body! Those sweet babes add some additional strain to your shoulders + upper back. Here, we are talking some at-home options + products to relieve this pesky pain! 
postpartum shoulder pain
 Below are some shoulder stretching techniques to combat postpartum mom arm. See the video for a full demonstration of these easy at-home stretches! 
- tennis / lacrosse ball on the wall 
- foam roller extension 
- exercise ball extension 
- doorway stretch 
- upper trap stretch 
Shoulder strengthening is going to be another large component. The serratus anterior muscle lives right under the shoulder blade. Strengthening this muscle is important to keeping mommy arm at bay. Watch full video here!
Breastfeeding or bottle feeding an infant takes a toll on mamas' shoulders + neck and upper back. You are often in "twisted" positions for long periods of time trying to feed and not paying attention to proper body mechanics. 
Below we go over proper nursing holds to combat back + shoulder pain. 
One of our best "Chiro for Moms Pro Tips" to save your shoulders is to get on your exercise ball and bounce babe using your legs! You can get incredible movement + save your upper body at the same time! 
Below are some of our favorite at-home products to combat postpartum mommy arm / shoulder pain:  
nursing pain
Boppy Nursing Pillow 
Wedge Pillow for Back Support
My Breast Friend  
postpartum shoulder pain
Baby Carrier 
Tush Baby 
We often hear from women that once it is time to go back to work [ often an office job ] their mommy arm + upper body pain worsens. This is likely due to long hours in front of a computer + nursing + caring for baby. Below are some at-home [ or office ] options to help save your body! 
postpartum back pain 
Ergonomic Chair 
Sit / Stand Lap Top Stand 
Wrist + Elbow 
 Due to all the hand "crunched" positions we hold babes in postpartum, women often deal with postpartum carpal tunnel / mommy wrist / mommy thumb. Some of our best tips to relieve this type of pain are as follows: 
- adjustments [ book your appointment here! ] 
- forearm stretching 
- kinesiology tape / bracing 
- compression sleeve / socks 
mommy thumb
 Below is a video demonstration of muscle work + stretches for the wrist that can be done to combat pain in postpartum mamas! 
We focus on the forearm muscles because they connect from the hand + wrist all the way into the elbow! Nerves can become trapped in these tight muscles causing pain in these regions.  
Kinesiotape is an excellent way to help combat carpal tunnel or "mommy thumb". Watch full video here for more tips on how to use kinesiology tape for the postpartum upper body + mommy arm. 
In addition to kinesiology tape there are a wide variety of other ways to provide wrist support + relief. Below are some simple at-home options to keep your wrist neutral + pain free postpartum: 
wrist pain + carpal tunnel
  Kinesiology Tape  [ click here for video demonstration] 
 Wrist Brace 
 Compression Sleeve / Sock  [ click here for video demonstration] 
postpartum wrist pain
 *** As always don't hesitate to reach out with questions /// thoughts surrounding this topic! ***
Book Your Appointment HERE!
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Instagram: @chiro_for_moms
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