Back Pain & Sciatica
Preventing back and pelvic pain during Pregnancy
More than 50% of women suffer from pain in their lower back and/or pelvis during pregnancy. Pain can not only affect a woman’s daily quality of life and sleep as her pregnancy develops, but also, if persisting, can impact labour options and recovery following delivery. Have a read of these 10 tips below to help prevent or decrease back and pelvic pain during pregnancy.
- Be mindful of posture – We all know the classic pregnancy “lean back”, but try to stand up tall. As the weight of your bump increases, try to think about gently tucking the bump into your body, and keep shoulders stacked directly on top of your hips.
- Avoid standing for long periods of time (think weddings, cooking, cleaning) especially if you are wearing high heels. Sitting down, even for 5-10 minutes every half an hour, will reset your body and help take the pressure of your joints.
- Walking can be a great form of exercise during pregnancy unless you have pelvic pain. If walking is making your pain worse, slow your pace down, take much smaller steps and try to remember to allow your arms to swing. Talk to your Women’s Health Physio about pregnancy belt options.
- Avoid the “waddle”! Swaying from side to side as you walk may seem easier, but this often increases the shearing forces through your back and pelvic joints, increasing your risk of back and pelvic pain.
- Try not to move your legs apart. Keep your legs together and gently squeeze in your tummy, buttocks and pelvic floor muscles when getting in and out of the car and bed, or when doing painful movements. Sit down when putting on clothes.
- Attend a weekly core-stability exercise class (Pregnancy safe Pilates or Yoga are perfect) to help keep your back and other joints strong and mobile.
- Pelvic Floor Exercises can help bladder and bowel function but also support the pelvis and spine from the inside, so try to do these daily. If you are not sure you’re doing them correctly, pop in and see one of our Women’s Health Physios.
- Avoid activities that aggravate your pain. This may sound obvious, but often we don’t listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us. Don’t just “push through”!
- Reduce lifting where possible – your back and abdominal muscles are under enough pressure as it is. If you have to lift- no breath holding! Try to breath out as you lift.
- Rest when you can. – Lying down takes the weight of your baby off your pelvis. Try and do this every afternoon for at least an hour. In more severe cases, your physiotherapist may recommend this time is extended and you reduce the amount of time you spend on your feet.
Do not put up with pain; whilst common during pregnancy, it is not normal to be in pain. Seek help and treatment from one of our Women’s Health Physiotherapists.