The Cause Of and the Cure For “The New Grandma Backache”

back_painEven if you’re not yet a grandma or you’re a grandma of many grandchildren, here is what you need to know about “The New Grandma Backache.”

This is not your ordinary, run-of- the- mill, backache. You don’t know it yet, but you have an area specific and circumstance specific backache.

All you know is that you have a backache and if you turn too quickly, you feel a twitch.  If you reach for something, it hurts. If you get in or out of the car, it hurts. It is annoying, so much so that you realize after a day or two that you probably should be taking some Tylenol for the pain. The Tylenol works. However, as soon as the Tylenol wears off the pesky backache is back. Then you realize you probably should be taking Advil, because Advil is an anti-inflammatory. So, you take Advil and it works. However, when it wears off the backache is periodically back and annoying. You start standing stiffer and avoid turning or reaching.  You get into and out of the car gingerly.  It hangs around.

After a few days, I realized that I was going to have a planned massage. We had just traveled on two airplanes a total of 10 hours.  I expected I would need a massage.  Yes, now I was sure the backache was because of the long distance airplane travel.

When my masseuse came, I explained that my back hurt and I was sure that it was because of all the airplane travel. Lying on my stomach, my masseuse took her two thumbs and placed them just below my ribs on my back and pressed. She asked if that hurt, and before she could get out the question, I said it really hurts right there. I asked her how she knew that was where my back pain originated. She said it wasn’t the airplane.

My masseuse knew the travel was to see a newborn grandchild. She said I had “The New Grandma Backache.” She explained that, as new grandmas, we hold the newborn up in the air out in front of us. All of us do that. The baby is light in weight, so we do not think about it, but it is the position that is the cause of “The New Grandma Backache.”  She said, in her experience, every brand new grandma she has massaged has had “The New Grandma Backache.”

Exacerbating the problem, we grandmas want to hold our newborn grandchild for as many hours as we are allowed. We remind the parents of the literature that says you can hold a newborn for as long as you want and you cannot spoil them. As a matter of fact, the newborn grandchild  just come out of a tight space and the newborn is very comfortable and happy being held in one’s arms. So you get the permission to hold the newborn grandchild for as long as you want and you end up with “The New Grandma Backache.

Why? Because the back muscles around the ribs we are using are specific to that action and we grandmas don’t do that in our normal day-to-day life.

My masseuse knew exactly how to massage and fix “The New Grandma Backache.”

She did strokes horizontally across each of my ribs and long strokes down my back, and deep knuckle strokes. It was wonderful. In addition to reminding me always to drink lots of water, she reminded me to use the heating pad at the end of the massage, and again, if the pain did not go away completely.

I told her that I did not remember having “The New Grandma Backache” with my other four grandchildren. Then I realized THE ANSWER.

We grandmas, with each newborn grandchild, have deep love in our hearts, stars in our eyes, and joy in our arms. Just like you forget childbirth pain, you forget the back pain because all you remember is the happiness the newborn grandchild brings.  We don’t remember “The New Grandma Backache” until after we have held the next newborn grandchild as long as we are able and we experience it again.

Like childbirth pain, “The New Grandma Backache” is worth it.  Holding a newborn grandchild is the most miraculous









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