Pregnancy is full of a LOT of challenges: morning sickness, fatigue, hormonal fluctuations, weight gain, etc. Another challenge that can occur in pregnancy is musculoskeletal pain. This can include the following: low back pain, upper back pain, pelvis pain, and much more. Research shows that 50-70% of pregnant women experience postural back pain and 68% of women with this pain will continue to experience it into postpartum life.
There are a few reasons why these musculoskeletal injuries rear their ugly heads during pregnancy. The first reason being that the hormones of pregnancy increase ligamentous laxity and soften cartilage in the entire body. The hormones do not just target the pelvis, but the entire body. Therefore, all joints in the body are at risk of joint instability. This joint hypermobility leads to increase risk of injury to back, pelvis, hips, and beyond. Secondly, there are many changes in posture with pregnancy because the body’s center of gravity shifts upward and forward which creates exaggerated spinal curvatures.
The good news is that a lot of this pain in pregnancy can be eliminated, if not at least minimized. We are here to help you at Rebound! Today what we want to share with you a couple basic exercises you can do in your day to greatly help reduce pain & discomfort or your chance of injury during pregnancy.
If you have more questions about pain or discomfort that you are experiencing in pregnancy then please reach out to a physical therapist who specializes in women’s health, specifically prenatal. Physical Therapy can help with posture assessment and correction, manual release, and address any symptoms or pain you might be experiencing. PTs not only can help pregnant women stay pain-free, but they can also help with an easier labor & delivery and lessen the potential pain during the postpartum stage. At Rebound we want to make your pregnancy as comfortable and enjoyable as possible so please let us help you!
Although this isn’t a blog written for the postnatal stage, in order to decrease chance of back pain post pregnancy these exercises can be helpful after birth as well, at the appropriate time. Please consult with your physician and/or women’s health physical therapist to know when to resume to these exercises post delivery because that time will vary for every mama.
If you want more exercises to help with postpartum core and pelvic floor recovery then call Rebound for more information on our Strong Core Mama program.
#1- Exercise to Avoid Back Pain in Pregnancy (Hands & Knees)
DO: Tuck pelvic underneath you.
DO NOT: Let abdomen and butt stick out.
Hunch shoulders up to your ears.
#2- Exercise to Avoid Back Pain in Pregnancy (Standing)
DO: Keep mid back down to the low back on the wall.
Breathe into your mid back.
Bend knees and put weight in heels.
DO NOT: Lift your shoulders up to your ears.
Let your weight shift onto your toes.
Anna Towne, PT, DPT, CSCS