1. This really opens my eyes to how back pain would affect parents with young children, I do suffer from back pain myself but mine started after my sons were grown up. I can’t imagine how a mother would care for her toddlers with back pain, I remember my sons as toddlers were not as light in weight as you would think on days my back was bothering me. Lucky my back pain did not become severe to lift until I was much older and my sons were not toddlers any longer, great post many people might not realize how much back pain would affect parents with young children.

    • Hello Jeff,
      I too wondered about the difficulty of a mother with back pain caring for toddlers in light of all the information about the benefits of roughhousing. She’ll have to change her approach like letting the child crawl up her legs. That said, it’s still a big challenge. I wrote this post because I think this is a topic that needs more discussion as most non-pain parents take the ability to engage in roughhousing with their kids for granted. As you said, many people might not realize how much back pain can effect parents with your children.

  2. Great information here, thank you. I had no idea that roughhousing could have far reaching benefits for children.
    Thankfully, I didn’t have back pain while raising our children so this was never an issue.
    You’re articles have made me mindful of those in pain. How difficult it is for them. I remember my daughter always wanting “up”. Something I took for granted for sure.

    • Hello Suzanne,
      I’m so glad you found the post useful. I was trying to give voice to all those parents, especially moms, who live in daily pain but recognize the benefits that roughhousing or tumble and play has for their kids. They try hard to modify their activities so they can give similar benefits. I also wanted to make the pain-free parents become more aware of the benefits of roughhousing so that they can do more of it with their kids. Thanks for checking in.

  3. This article can help many parents with back pain who might experience problems rough housing with their children, I can understand how this can improve relationships between parents and children. This is often a way parents and children spend their time together and play, and when parents are in pain due to their back this can affect relationships I am sure.


    • Hello Jeff,
      You’re right about roughhousing improving relationships between parents and children. This is one of the reasons that parents in pain often feel that they are missing a chance to bond with their children. I am hoping that this post show the different ways bonding can still take place by modifying aspects of roughhousing. So to Dena’s point, instead of picking up the child you simple allow him or her to crawl on your lap. Thanks for checking in.

  4. This article was eye-opening and very thorough, Thabo. I remember rough-housing with my kids when the were young and if I had had back problems at that time, I would hope it wouldn’t have stopped me from playing with my kids like that. I believe it’s an important method of bonding and character building and the list goes on and on.

  5. This is a great article! You always have so much information dealing with pain and this article has great information about dealing with pain while trying to roughhouse with your child. My sister has always had back issues and found it extremely difficult when trying to play with them. Now as an older adult she has the same problems with her grandchildren, I have seen her when one of the babies hold up there arms and wants her to pick them up. She normally sits down and calls the little one over so she can crawl up on her lap. I bet my sister can use some of the information in this post to benefit her so will be sending it her way.

    • Thanks so much for the kind words, Dena. I think being a parent who suffers from chronic pain is especially tough on women because they feel guilty for not acting on their maternal instincts to pick up a child who is reaching out with their hands. This post was meant to acknowledge the problem and than provide possible solutions such as sitting next to the child and allowing him or her to crawl up a leg or, as in the case of your sister, crawl on a lap.

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