Why Do I Get Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy?
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!
Being pregnant is a wondrous journey that is full of ups and downs. Unfortunately as manual therapists we hear a question that comes up all too often… “Why do I get lower back pain during pregnancy?!?”
As Osteopaths and Massage Therapists in Croydon, we have seen this problem time and time again. We can help aid your problem with treatments like pregnancy remedial massage and osteopathic therapy, but today we shall also shed some light on the reasons why the pain occurs and what you can do to help yourself.
Causes of back pain during pregnancy
During pregnancy your body releases a hormone called relaxin which causes your pelvic ligaments to become more lax. This is required to prepare the body for the birthing process/labour. Your ligaments become softer and stretchier, and while this is a natural process, can lead to instability of the pelvis. This is not isolated to the pelvis; ligaments in your lower back may also stretch which can lead to facet joint sprains and muscle tightness.
Your baby is growing day by day and adding more weight anteriorly to your body. This changes your centre of gravity and increases your lumbar (lower back) curvature. This also can add extra stress to the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joints leading to pain.
Your rectus abdominus,which runs in two parallel muscle groups from your lower ribs to your pubis, can separate in the centre during pregnancy due to the expansion of the uterus. This can lead to instability and increase the pain in the lower back.
Treatments for Back Pain in Pregnancy
Regular exercise before and during pregnancy can really help lower your chances or reduce your back pain.
Exercises like swimming, walking and cycling (stationary) can really help boost your muscle strength which aids in the support of your pelvis and lower back.
If you are still experiencing back pain, the osteopaths at Healing Hands can suggest alternative safe exercises to add to your routine..
Stretches & Mobilisation
Stretches and movement based exercise keep the body mobile and fluid. Check out some of our safe and easy home exercises!
- Seated gluteal stretch
- Butterfly pose
- Psoas stretch
Heat and Cold
Depending on what feels better you can use a cool compress or heat bag on the affected area. Use for 10 minutes at a time and leave some time in between each use.
Often our old bad postural habits follow us into pregnancy. These can cause a strain on the lower back.
Try using lumbar supports at your desk to aid your sitting posture. For sleeping, try a pillow between the knees. And if it all gets too much you can use a supportive belt.
Massage/Osteopathy – How we can help!
We have many options to help. Pregnancy remedial massage can be just what the doctor ordered! This can help loosen tight muscles, aid in lymphatic drainage (swelling) and relax the body. If your problem is more structural, the osteos at Healing Hands can aid in alignment and correct poor functional movement patterns in the body.
If you have any questions we haven’t answered in this post, or you would like your pregnancy back pain assessed, please reach out and make a time to see the Healing Hands team!