How to Pick Up Your Grandkids Without Pain

When grandchildren visit it’s a chance to strengthen your bond, teach them family traditions and just have fun. However, the physical reality of having young children in the house can be challenging. As we age, our knees, hips and other joints may become painful, and it can be difficult to move freely. This situation makes doing everyday things like picking up a child, bending over or sitting on the floor to play a game much more difficult and sometimes impossible. The good news is that there are some specific things you can do to protect yourself from pain and even from further injury.

A Safer Way to Lift
Sometimes cuddling our grandchildren is a necessity and it’s always a joy. Ideally, you can sit down and have the child crawl into your lap for a cuddle. But because children can be uncooperative or squirmy, this may not be an option, so make sure you know how to pick up a child in a way that avoids injury to yourself.

While you may have heard that you should squat to pick up an object, that technique just isn’t practical for many people with knee or back problems. Try to avoid strain whenever you can. Instead of squatting, try bending at the waist and knees, keeping your back as flat as possible. Pick up the child and hold them close to you as you lift. This will protect both your back and knees.

Strengthen Your Core Muscles
While this tip won’t help you if your grandchildren are coming this afternoon, it will help you get in shape for future visits. Yoga or Pilates exercises work on strengthening the core muscles that help you avoid back pain and injury. This kind of exercise can help you improve your posture and balance which will help your whole body, including your knees.

Getting your body in shape can help you be more aware of how you move and of ways to avoid strain. As we mentioned above, there is nothing better than a hug from a grandchild, but if you bend down and the child pulls on your neck, you can find yourself with a serious injury. Be prepared to get and give hugs safely.

Clear the Way
Unfortunately, many older adults fall and hurt themselves, even breaking bones and incurring head injuries. When children are around quite likely so are their toys, bicycles, and other playthings. Try to make it a habit for the children to pick up after themselves and put away toys immediately after use. This system will go a long way to keeping you safe and keeping the children safe as well.

Treatment Options for Damaged Knees
If you are a busy grandparent who has been told that a knee replacement might be in your future, don’t think that it’s your only option. At Advanced Regenerative Orthopedics (ARO), we offer a minimally invasive alternative to surgery by combining minimally invasive arthroscopy with denervation and stem cell (regenerative) medicine. This process removes the damage from your painful joint, temporarily deadens the sensitive nerves and stimulates your body’s natural healing ability. We can have you back on your feet, and that is something every grandparent will be grateful for.