Pregnancy related pelvic girdle or back pain
During pregnancy, your body undergoes multiple physiological changes. It is therefore common to experience back or pelvic girdle pain. It is estimated that 50 – 80 % of pregnant women experience pain in their lower back or pelvic girdle. Although common, it does not mean that pain should go untreated. A trained physiotherapist can help to alleviate your symptoms and improve your quality of life when pregnant.
What causes pelvic or low back pain during pregnancy?
- Hormonal change: In preparation for childbirth, a hormone called relaxin is released, which relaxes the ligaments in the pelvis, and softens and widens the cervix. This can put a strain on your joints.
- Postural and mechanical change: As your baby grows bigger, your center of gravity shifts, which may lead to the lower back overarching. Your abdominal muscles are also stretched and become less activated and weak.
- History of previous lower back pain can also predispose you to back pain during pregnancy.
It is important to seek professional help early to manage and reduce existing symptoms and ensure that it does not affect your quality of life during and after pregnancy.
Tips for pain relief:
- Stretching and strengthening exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist
- Pelvic tilts are very useful and can help to relieve back aches
- Pelvic floor and deep abdominal exercises are also important for core stability and continence
- Care for your back
- Understanding proper lifting techniques is important especially if you need to care for another child while pregnant
- Managing loads and distributing loads evenly
- Maintaining good posture while standing or sitting
- Get the right gear
- Your physiotherapist can recommend a maternity support belt that can help to relieve pain and provide support
- Good footwear is important in relieving or preventing aches in your feet
- Include physical activity in your daily routine
- Regular exercise helps to strengthens muscles in general
- Safe exercises for most during pregnancy includes walking, stationary cycling or swimming
- If you did not exercise prior to your pregnancy, it would be good to consult your doctor and a physiotherapist about an appropriate exercise program
At Women & Children Centre, our women’s health physiotherapists can assist you with managing your pain during pregnancy. We can guide you with prescribing appropriate exercises and ensuring that your pregnancy journey is a smooth one.
Book an Appointment