Can I just start off by saying that I really truly enjoy working with all the pregnant ladies out there and it is so rewarding to help give them relief during their pregnancy! I’m sure you have heard of people complaining about back pain while they are pregnant and maybe you’ve had it yourself in the past (or currently which is pretty likely since you are reading this right now). But what bothers me is that so many ladies are just told to “deal with it” because they’re pregnant so supposedly that’s just supposed to be a thing.
Granted, it is common to have low back pain when you are pregnant. In fact, I have seen statistics as high as 80% of women have low back pain during pregnancy. And it makes sense that many have back pain because there are changes in your posture due to where the baby sits, weakness in the muscles as they stretch to accommodate your growing baby, and also the fact that you have to carry around extra weight that you typically wouldn’t. But with these changes come a lot of muscle tightness and weakness. The abdominal muscles get stretched and stop working properly so many ladies lack the stability from the core muscles. And the low back muscles get tight due to the changes in posture. Luckily, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to suffer from it. Try the following tips to help alleviate your pain and enjoy this stage!
Try some stretches. To help loosen up the muscles that tend to get tight, try stretching both the back muscles and leg muscles.
- Child’s pose stretch: Space knees wider apart as needed, hold for 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.
- Hamstring stretch: Keep knee straight and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Focus on your posture. Since the growing baby grows primarily forward (hence the “baby belly”), it shifts your center of gravity forward. In order to avoid toppling over, women must arch back more to shift that center of gravity. However, you want to make sure that you aren’t overdoing it and arching in the lower back more than necessary. Also trying to hold your shoulders back and not slumping will help alleviate pressure on the low back. It will also help you engage those core muscles that we want to work on as well.
Work with a Physical Therapist to create a stabilization program. As I mentioned above, the core muscles will give you support and stability. Making sure they are strong and functioning properly will not only help you avoid low back pain, but it will help make delivery easier and also recovery after baby. Since everyone is at different levels with strength and stability, it is important to work with someone that is trained in this area such as a Physical Therapist that specializes in women’s health. It also varies based on what stage of your pregnancy that you are in and what you can tolerate so it’s best to have a personalized home exercise program that targets your specific needs. If you are in the Greater Milwaukee or Hales Corners area, feel free to contact me for your personalized program.
Try to follow these tips daily and you should notice a difference within the first few days. If your pain persists, please don’t suffer through it because you don’t need to. Find a women’s health Physical Therapist in your area that can help you out. Have a great week!