Back pain and pregnancy are very common occurrences. As many as 80% of pregnant women will experience low back pain, especially during the late stages of pregnancy. Usually, the pain will be in the low back and is probably due to a combination of carrying extra weight and hormones that act to widen the pelvis and increase the size of the birth canal. The fact that pregnant women are severely restricted in the types of medications they can take while pregnant, makes treating back pain difficult. But do not worry because there is a solution for women who suffer from back pain while pregnant. Physical therapy is a very effective alternative to medication and allows for more personalized treatment.
Fortunately, there are a couple of simple strategies that can help minimize the pain:
Take It Easy
If possible, decrease activities that stress the low back. These activities include standing on one leg, climbing stairs, walking long distances, and standing for long periods of time.
Work Within Your Limits
Take short breaks, try to lie down, and avoid motions that stress the low back. Also, avoid lifting anything over several pounds.
Strengthen Your Back Muscles
You can strengthen the back muscles safely during pregnancy as long as there is no weight from your trunk pushing down on your low back. Before you start exercising, ask your doctor if he or she thinks exercises are right for you. Remember that the goal is not to become the next Miss Bodybuilder U.S.A., but rather to gently exercise your muscles to avoid low back pain.
When To Contact Your Doctor
Use common sense when performing any exercise program. If you experience any stomach pain or any other strange feelings while performing the exercises, stop immediately and call your doctor. You should also call your doctor if you have any of the following problems:
- Severe pain: pregnancy pain should always resolve with rest.
- Pain shooting down the leg into the foot with weakness in the leg: This may be the sign of a more severe back problem. This does occur in rare cases during pregnancy and can be painful.
Knowledge and prevention are a woman’s best friend during pregnancy, especially when experiencing back pain. Regardless of how you handle the back pain during your pregnancy, the best news is that the back pain usually goes away after delivery.
If you are having back pain in pregnancy, ask your doctor if they think physical therapy is right for you. If you are in the San Antonio area and are having back pain in pregnancy, ask your doctor to send you to the experts at Momentum Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab.