Lower back pain is a common occurrence in pregnancy with up to 70% of pregnant women experiencing this side effect. Even though it is common, it does not need to affect your daily activities. A physical therapist can help you to understand the cause of the pain and discomfort, and also create a treatment plan for you.
At Oklahoma Physical Therapy, our physical therapists are experienced in helping pregnant women achieve their goals during pregnancy and alleviate common symptoms, such as low back pain.
What Causes Lower Back Pain during Pregnancy?
Pregnancy-related lower back pain can be traced to the hormonal changes that occur in the body throughout pregnancy. The hormones released during pregnancy, such as “Relaxin,” help to prepare your body for birth by loosening the joints and ligaments that support your pelvis and the spine. This can lead to pain in the low back and pelvis as the baby grows and your body continues to change.
Pain develops when your spinal muscles try to compensate for the loss of ligament support. Secondly, the weight of a fetus increases the pressure on the lower back and also causes a change in the body’s center of gravity. This triggers pain that may extend down to the hips and legs.
How Physical Therapy Can Help
Physical therapists can help pregnant women to deal with lower back pain by evaluating their specific situation, and recommending a program to deal with the problem. This is our approach at Oklahoma Physical Therapy. Our experienced physical therapists also consider medical history, stage of pregnancy, prior activity level and more to develop an individualized treatment plan. Your treatment program could include the following:
- Spinal and pelvic joint exercises
- Strength, flexibility and mobility exercises
- Use of braces
- Delivery positioning (to avoid exacerbating the lower back pain)
- Exercises to improve posture and body balance
- Deep tissue programs to reduce muscle pain
- Daily routine modifications
- Sleeping position training