For some ladies pregnancy brings a beautiful glow and one of the most exciting/ rewarding months.
For others it can be a very different story- horrendous discomfort of back or pelvic pain. Hormone changes during pregnancy alter our skeletal infrastructure which gives us greater flexibility and the developing bump changes our centre of gravity, which affects our posture.
The additional factors of weight gain, lifestyle, posture, pre-pregnancy fitness etc all add ingredients to the pregnancy back-pain soup, which can result in the sudden onset of sharp or debilitating pain for 50-75% of all pregnant ladies.
Sounds scary? Believe me when I say it is! My second pregnancy exacerbated a serious slipped disc issue and I spent the last 12 weeks of pregnancy in total agony, however, the great news there is lots you can do to relieve the discomfort and prevent it becoming a long-term issue.
There are different types of back pain.
‘True’ back pain is the result of poor posture, weak muscles, pre-existing conditions and lifestyle- often a condition you had prior to pregnancy. Pain at the back of the pelvis is known as pelvic girdle pain (PGP). It is sometimes also called sacro-iliac joint (SI) pain. Pain at the front of the pelvis is known as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction
Things that can help
- When lying in bed prop yourself with pillows. If on your back have a pillow under your knees. This tilts the pelvis and allows the lower back to gain maximum support from the bed, if on your side place a pillow between your knee, the length of the leg. This reduces the ‘twist’ of the pelvis and spine.
- If you find turning over in bed very painful, try sitting up directly from lying on your back, after pulling up your knees as far towards your chest as your bump will allow. This moves your pelvis from an unstable to a locked position. Tighten your pelvic floor and lower tummy muscles before moving.
- Avoid lying on your back or sitting slumped, particularly with your legs straight (i.e. on the sofa) without support. Place a rolled towel or cushion under your back, at waist level to support your back and place another rolled support under your bent knees.
- Don’t ignore pain- it hurts for a reason! Stop doing what is causing the pain and avoid doing it (if possible). I found the weekly shop particularly taxing….. the lifting, carrying, pushing not only at the supermarket, but on return home! Back in the 1980’s internet shopping wasn’t available, I did smaller more frequent shops or went with friends, but
now it is so much easier to log on, shop and let them do the work
- Work on your posture. When you are walking you should arch your back and swing your arms (march). This posture locks yourpelvis in a stable position and activates the muscles that stiffen your joints.
- Work on your pelvic floor muscles by introducing exercise (Click here to read the best pelvic floor blog I’ve read)
- Rest preferably by sitting on a large birthing ball, but do not stop moving altogether. Back pain is worsened by lack of mobility, therefore, move little and often.
- Dressing can cause difficulties it helps to sit when putting knickers or trousers on.
- Allow your partner (or beautician) to paint your toe nails. Not only will you feel fab, but you will protect your back at the same time!
- And last, but not least, Maga Pregnancy Therapy has been developed just for you whether you are prenatal or postnatal….Click Here To Read what Rosemary (now a busy mum with twins) said, and how Maga Pregnancy Therapy helped her and continues even now……
Personal Tip: Have you heard of the MuTu System? Check it out! Its a brilliant site full of facts, tips and advice on how to stay fit and well both during and after pregnancy!
Maga Therapy is available in London (Hale Clinic W1 and St Pauls). To book your appointment or find out more details CLICK HERE