Low back pain/ discomfort is common with pregnancy – during pregnancy or post-delivery. Studies suggest, almost 50% of the women experience it during one or the other stage of pregnancy, having a great impact on their lifestyle, it can even make common everyday task difficult like walking, sitting, standing or sleeping.
Although the experience of low back pain is common, its causes and sources are as unique and as individualized as the pregnancy itself.
Causes – Pregnancy related low back pain can be due to various reasons, to name a few:
- Rapid weight gain
- Postural balancing strategy
- Forward shift of centre of gravity
- Muscle imbalance
- Hormonal changes
- Muscle separation (rectus abdominis over stretch)
- Pelvic ligaments overstretch – leading to instability
- Emotional stress
Along with above causes, postnatally, the causes may be slightly different. Such as:
- Overexertion while leaning and carrying the baby
- General hormonal imbalance
- Existing muscle imbalance prior to pregnancy
- Additional weight that remains post-delivery can exert pressure on the back
- Lack of sleep
- Unstable lumbar spine secondary to laxity in ligaments
Treatment to reduce pain – Your physiotherapist should assess the actual cause of your low back pain and treatment should be planned according to an individual needs. Low back pain can be cured naturally without medications with the help of your physiotherapist.
Usually your condition improve with physiotherapy, through:
- Gentle and accurate manual treatment to realign overly stressed joints and muscles
- Learning how to properly strengthen your core muscles including your pelvic floor muscles, gluteus muscles and diaphragm
- Improve your posture, release the necessary tight and tense areas of your body
- Hot compress or other therapeutic devices
- Prenatal and postnatal massage
- Additionally you can support your lower back and/or abdomen by strapping, or use pelvic support brace
Studies suggest, continent antenatal women early in pregnancy and offering a structured Pelvic Floor Muscle Training(PFMT) programme may prevent the onset of urinary incontinence in late pregnancy and postpartum. Similarly, antenatal PFMT decreased the risk of urinary incontinence in the mid-postnatal period around 3-6 months postnatally.
Both during and after your pregnancy, you should do exercises that feel good to your body and comfortable to you, avoid doing certain movements that strain or exhaust you. And if any of those exercise or movements cause you pain/tension/discomfort/unease at any point in time, you should stop them immediately and contact your therapist or your physician.
At Balance Core Physiotherapy Centre, all physiotherapist experts have the soft hands to gently and progressively help you to relieve the pain, and also design individual exercise program to help you build up good foundations so that you have a smooth pregnancy and also recover quickly after giving birth.