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Terrible neck/back pain and using ring slings...advice?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've been using ring slings (OTSBH) since the birth of my first daughter (now 2.5, other daughter is 11 months). My back and neck have been hurting and recently, after dd2 had a cold and had to be carried for hours a day, including many times during the night, I strained a neck muscle, which led to the worst migraine I've ever had (vomiting, etc.). I'd fallen into the bad habit of always carrying on one side and that certainly doesn't help out, but in addition to that, the slings seem to just hurt me.

My dd doesn't like to have her movement restricted either, so I can't put her way into it...she rides a bit higher than you're supposed to have them and I end up supporting her a bit with the other arm.

I have a Kozy that I've started using (dd2 wouldn't use it at first--she was too small to have her legs around me and didn't like them tucked in). I have mastered using it as a front-carrier and it feels better than the ring slings but my back still hurts. Any ideas? Oh, I also have an Ellaroo but it is a bit too small for me (tandem nursing seems to have put my body into a must conserve fat cells mode).

I'm seeing an osteopath for craniosacral osteopathy, and that is helping a little.
post #2 of 14
Sorry for the pain. Personally I'd try different carriers. See if you could borrow some to try rather than buying a few. I can do about an hour in a ring sling. and then my shoulder gets sore after a while and that pulls until I get a headache. I can do hours with either a wrap (I use a stretchy moby but there are other kinds) and I just got a mei tei with padded straps that I love. Both types of carriers use both shoulders which I find makes a big difference to me.

Good luck.
post #3 of 14
I hear your pain. I can't do any carry that goes across one shoulder for more than 30 minutes. I would suggest getting a carrier that goes over both shoulders and ditributes the weight more evenly. The Ergo, BEco and Mei Tei are all great for this. And you can use them until your babe is 40 pounds piggy back style. Love them all.
post #4 of 14
I agree that it helps to alternate carriers. I alternate between a sling and Ergo. A wrap that you can tie a few different ways may help too.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks!!! The Kozy is doing well for us and we are both getting used to it...back and neck are doing much better. I'll try the Ellaroo again in a few days and maybe try out some others.

Thanks again!
post #6 of 14
Have you tried the Kozy on your back? Your DD is getting large enough that it will be a great help soon if you haven't yet. My DD loves riding on my back in our Kozy. I'm even getting good enough at putting it on that I can get her pretty high so she can see over my shoulder.

Good luck!
post #7 of 14
I would get rid of the OTSBH and try different carriers, as others suggested. The OTSBH killed my back as well, but wraps, MTs and unpadded ring slings are perfectly comfortable.
post #8 of 14
As a chiropractor, I always suggest to patients using slings that they MUST switch sides! Not only for the stress to your body but to equalize the stress to your baby's body as well. Also, the part of the sling that goes over the shoulder should be spread out widely over the shoulder.

Try to wear the baby more in the front than right on the hip. If you find you can't continue to stand up straight while wearing the baby (ie you kind of jut one hip out) then you are causing serious stress to your spine.

Working on your core musculature will help also.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiro_kristin View Post
As a chiropractor, I always suggest to patients using slings that they MUST switch sides! Not only for the stress to your body but to equalize the stress to your baby's body as well. Also, the part of the sling that goes over the shoulder should be spread out widely over the shoulder.

Try to wear the baby more in the front than right on the hip. If you find you can't continue to stand up straight while wearing the baby (ie you kind of jut one hip out) then you are causing serious stress to your spine.

Working on your core musculature will help also.
I was wondering about that! I don't like the hip carry because I can't stand up straight. I always lean to the right (if she's on the left hip). I also can't walk normally. I didn't know if I was a spaz or if everyone did that . I carry DD on my front alot more than on the hip. She's a toddler, but she loves putting her arms around my neck and hugging on me. Plus I can nibble on her cheeks that way. Now I've got quite the baby bump, but I just put her a little higher in the sling and it works. I also put her on my back quite a bit.
post #10 of 14
Using a backpack carrier can help distribute the strain some, and I would recommend using a stroller some when you're out and about if you don't already. Personally I just can't carry the baby much after about 4 months old. I did with my DD until she was older, but my back and neck have suffered ever since (at least I keep my chiro busy, LOL!). DD never went in a stroller until she was close to a year old and then she HATED it. So with my DS I've gotten him used to several different things (stroller, backpack, bouncer) so the strain isn't always on my body and he's used to all of them. Take care!!

Carol
post #11 of 14
I agree about alternating. Hubby is a Chiro and he loves the ERGO. We alternate between the ERGO and our Hotslings-- which also gets switched around from left to right shoulder. But I much prefer the ERGO for long term carrying.

Something also very easy is to take 5 minutes a day and strengthen those back muscles
post #12 of 14
Back carries! Once DS hit 15ish lbs. front carries (except in FWCC in a wrap) were uncomfortable quickly. But I can carry him on my back in a wrap or mei tai for hours without discomfort - it just distributes the weight SO much better to have them on your back vs. front.
post #13 of 14
I used ring slings with ds1 (Maya and OTSBH) but only when I was in town because I couldn't do it at home due to the pain and I couldn't get anything done. With ds2, I've been using the Moby which goes over two shoulders and around the back so the weight it evenly distributed over those three areas. He gets colic if I don't carry him in the sling from about 3 pm until we go to bed. With the Moby, I've been able to do it just fine. I do change my activities a little - I don't try to get laundry out of the washing machine with him in the Moby...and dh holds him while I fix supper. But I can work at the computer or do other tasks where my body pretty much stays in alignment. If I lean forward to much when I sit, I can get hunched shoulders, but I just make it a point to sit up straight and that seems to be okay - that's the only problem I've encountered with this wrap. Now granted, ds2 is only 4 weeks old, but he's been carried in a sling more in his short life than ds1 was carried total so go figure.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for all the good advice! Right now we're doing well with front carries in the Kozy. I keep trying back carries but dd isn't too into that. Maybe sometime soon. She always takes her naps in the carrier and nurses to sleep, but maybe she'll get used to other times on my back. Even the front carry is sooooooooooo much better than with ring slings, and the back carry is great if I can get her to do it.

Now I have to figure out how to strengthen back and stomach muscles...I'm fuzzy on exactly what to do.

Thanks again!
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