Pregnancy and back pain

A lot of the pregnant clients we deal with suffer with back pain, which normally comes on in the second trimester and continues throughout, and this can be for a number of reasons and we understand how uncomfortable this can be. However there are a number of things you can do from an exercise perspective to help with this.

First of all we are going to go through the reasons why you might be experiencing back pain so that you can fully understand what is going on throughout the body.  The most common reason is the weight gain – you can gain up to 2 and a half stone in pregnancy.  All this weight is being supported by the spine.  This also puts pressure on the nerves in the pelvis and back.

From the first trimester your body is changing preparing to carry a baby so your body creates a hormone called relaxin, this does exactly what it sounds like.  This relaxes the ligaments around the pelvis area and the joints become looser for the birth.  This will also loosen the ligaments that support the spine, this leads to instability which can create pain.

With the body making relaxin and the added weight this will cause massive posture changes for a lot of women beginning with an anterior (forward) tilt in the pelvis which will make some muscles lengthen and some muscles tighten which will lead to your gait changing and create back pain.

With the abdomen expanding you are going to have muscle separation.  The muscle affected is the rectus abdominus – the sheets of muscle that run either side of your belly button from the rib cage to the pubis bone.  This could worsen back pain.  How we would help you is by working on the muscles through strengthening and flexibility training to help with the anterior tilt.

If you follow the link it will briefly explain how to correct an anterior tilt, but we would also work on teaching you how to interact with your core muscles first before working them.


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