Parenting Pain Is More Prevalent Than You Might Think, Study Finds

“We’ve long suspected there was a correlation between parenting tasks and increased pain. That’s why we did this study, we wanted to bring attention to the problem and let parents know there are convenient pain-relief options out there for them.”
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
Jul 2020
tired mom holds her toddler
Photo: iStock

Parenting can be one of the greatest joys in life, but it’s no secret that it can also be incredibly hard. Other than the mental toll it can take thanks to the constant stress and worry, one study is now finding that it also takes a physical toll on many parents.

New research commissioned by Wahl, a company that makes at-home therapeutic massagers, surveyed 1,047 parents in May 2020 with kids ranging from newborn to 17 years old. The survey found that 65 percent of respondents said they experienced pain related to parenting, with nearly half stating they felt this pain on a weekly or daily basis.

The survey found the top cause of pain for parents of children up to 5 years old to be lifting and carrying baby gear, such as strollers and car seats. As the kids grew older, the leading cause for pain stemmed from activities like playing with their kids. The survey found that the age and number of kids may also play a role in parents’ probability of pain. The results showed that parents with kids ranging from 2 to 5 years old were most likely to experience pain, while parents with two or more children were 47 percent more likely to experience pain on a daily basis compared to parents with one child.

When it came to where parents felt the pain most, back pain was the leading culprit, followed by headaches and neck pain. One in three parents stated that the pain had negatively impacted their parenting experience. However, the results showed that many parents didn’t let their pain stop them for engaging in activities with their kids.

The top two obstacles parents faced in terms of following a pain management plan? Time and cost. Of the parents surveyed, 40 percent said they only had a few hours a week for pain management, while 20 percent said they had no time at all. When it came to using at-home massage tools as an option for pain management and relief, 80 percent of respondents said they had never tried them.

“We’ve long suspected there was a correlation between parenting tasks and increased pain,” Steven Yde, division vice president for Wahl, stated in a press release. “That’s why we did this study, we wanted to bring attention to the problem and let parents know there are convenient pain-relief options out there for them.”

Itchy Skin in Babies

Wendy Sue Swanson, MD
Pediatrician

How to Check for Lice

Kristina Cappetta

Where Do Birthmarks Come From?

Alanna Levine, MD
Pediatrician

Lump in a Baby’s Abdomen

Wendy Sue Swanson, MD
Pediatrician

Diaper Rash

Jennifer L.W. Fink
Registered Nurse

Genius New Postpartum Underwear Makes Recovery Way Easier

Ashley Edwards Walker
Contributing Writer
Published
09/23/2019

6 Ways to Keep Baby Healthy

Elena Donovan Mauer

A Reminder to Moms: Showering Is Not Selfish

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
08/17/2017

Two-Year Molars?

Hannah Chow-Johnson, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and pediatrician at Loyola University Health System
Pediatrician

Head Lice 101

Kristina Cappetta

How to Care for Baby's Umbilical Cord

Paula Prezioso, MD
Pediatrician