Lower Back Pain in Pregnancy
How to alleviate lower back pain in pregnancy?
Lower back pain and pelvic girdle dysfunction (PGD) is very common in pregnancy. It happens for a number of reasons, but the good news is physiotherapy specifically for pregnancy and pregnancy yoga can help ( a lot!) ….
Back pain can happen in the lumbar spine as the weight of the baby draws the pelvis into an anteriorly tilted position, it means the joints in the lower back are compressed and the muscles have to work extra hard to keep you standing ! Also, your abdominal muscles are being stretched as your baby grows and become weaker and less able to support your lower back. This can also cause a degree of irritation to the nerves supplying your legs and can give you leg and groin pain.
You may also experience pain in one side of your pelvis/hips at the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) , as your hormones change in pregnancy and your ligaments become more lax ( to allow for the baby to pass through the pelvis in birth) ,the pelvis can become more unstable and cause catching or movement at the sacro-iliac joint. This can also affect the joints at the front of the pelvis called the symphysis pubis .
As your baby bump grows your posture adapts and your centre of gravity alters resulting in a change in the way you move, and can cause further back ache. Stress can also contribute , if you are finding things emotional you may find your back pain increases during these periods.
The good news ! There are ways you can help these aches and pains ..
Physiotherapy is great and can often give you instant relief from lower back pain in pregnancy.
My first tip is to try and improve your posture, slouching strains your spine so when sitting, or standing think about tucking your tail bone under a little and drawing in lower abdominal muscle – not too hard just a light engagement but it should help take a little of the load off your lower back.
Second of all try sitting on a gym ball, the weight of the baby is distributed through the ball and means less load on the lower back. Pelvic stability exercises specific to pregnancy can also help, particularly Pilates type exercises which can also help you keep your pelvic floor and deep abdominal (the ones that support your back) strong .
Physiotherapy treatment may consist of gentle joint mobilisation, massage, kinesiotaping (to help support bump) posture education and an in depth explanation of Pilates or Yoga type exercises. Physiotherapists can also use acupuncture to help relive lower back pain in pregnancy and can prescribe maternity belts that can help lessen the load on your pelvis.
In terms of general exercise , I’d advise keeping as active as you feel you can , don’t suddenly start training for a triathlon or something, but if you were active before your pregnancy keep going as long as you can comfortably. Then perhaps try pregnancy yoga or pilates , swimming, stationary bike and some walking every day. The movements will help relieve your lower back pain and help you relax. If you are new to exercise, pregnancy yoga is the perfect place to start, you'll learn movements to help relieve aches and pain, help enhance the optimal positioning of your baby, learn breathing and relaxation strategies , helpful throughout your pregnancy and in labour. If you are in pain, do see a physiotherapist we’ll likely be able to hep you relieve some of that discomfort as well as help keep you fit and prepare you for labour.
Wellfit mumma’s is ran by Senior Physiotherapist Rosie Taylor which offers Pregnancy Physiotherapy, pregnancy yoga & mother and baby yoga at Treat-Norwich clinic .