May 26, 2015
Back pain and its prevention during pregnancy
Lower back pain and pelvic girdle pain is a common problem throughout pregnancy. It will often present as a backache, pain through the back of the pelvis or pain at the pubic symphysis. Usually the pain can be associated with certain provocative like standing for prolonged times, walking or rolling in bed.
Back pain and pelvis pain may be attributed to several things that happen to a women’s body during pregnancy. There is a change in hormone levels, in particular an increase in the hormone Relaxin, which makes the ligaments in the body soft and relaxed. This in turn reduces the stability in the pelvis and the lower back areas, preparing the body ready for birth but making it more prone to be injured. The core muscles, including the deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, are also under more strain due to being stretched out by a growing baby and the increased body weight of the woman. Finally, there are often posture changes that occur due to a shift in the centre of gravity, which may change the way a woman sits, stands or holds herself.
Fortunately, there are several strategies to prevent or reduce lower back and pelvic pain throughout pregnancy. Improving posture by trying to maintain a neutral spine is very important as both slouching or a sway back puts pressure on the back. Try using a back support in your chair to sit upright and regularly stand up to stretch out. A pillow between the knees can also be useful to help maintain a supported posture when sleeping on your side. Keeping active is also very important throughout the entire pregnancy to help control excessive weight gain and strengthen the muscles of the spine and pelvis. Choosing safe exercise is equally important and may include walking, swimming, pregnancy Pilates or yoga. A physiotherapist can help prescribe exercises to strengthen core abdominal and pelvic floor muscles to help improve stability in the back and pelvis. This, in turn helps to reduce back and pelvic pain throughout the pregnancy.
Junction Road Physiotherapy has physiotherapists trained in women’s health can help you with preventing back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. We also run pregnancy-specific Pilates classes to help your body stay fit and healthy throughout your pregnancy.
by Kate King
Physiotherapist (First Class Honours)
Junction Road Physio
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