How to Alleviate Low Back Pain During Pregnancy

Did you know that low back pain is the number one most common discomfort that pregnant women report?

It is so common that 50% of pregnant women will report having suffered from low back pain. Most women think that it is an inevitable part of pregnancy and that there is nothing that can be done to alleviate their pain. However, there are certain things that you can do to minimize your back pain while pregnant (and maybe avoid it altogether!).

Today, we are going to talk about the top 3 things that you can do to alleviate your low back pain!

First, mix up your movement!

During pregnancy, your body changes its upright and seated posture, and also is compensating for a change in where your center of gravity is located. This can cause some muscles to work harder than they normally would. This leads to those muscles feeling overworked and tight, which can cause pain during your normal, daily postures, or even during workouts and exercises that you enjoy. It can be helpful to explore different postures to find which are comfortable for you, and rotate through them throughout your day.

Exploring different exercises can also help! For example, we had a CrossFit athlete who felt fine doing pull-ups and hollow holds early on during her pregnancy, but later on, neither exercises felt good for her body. We substituted with some rows and planks, which are still strengthening her back and core, and feel better for her body. If you don’t feel confident exploring posture or movement options, or do not know where to start, a women’s health physical therapist can help guide you through the process and help you find the best posture and exercise modifications for your body.

Secondly, take care of your body!

You know those tight muscles that we mentioned earlier? The ones that feel overworked and tight? Massage and soft tissue work can help those muscles relax, which will help decrease your symptoms. It is important to know that there are many different types of massage, and massage is not a “one size fits all” treatment. It is important to find a practitioner who feels confident working with moms, and who will empower you to take charge of your wellness journey, instead of having you rely on them for relief. Here at LeBauer PT, we empower our patients who are moms by teaching them how to perform self treatment, which helps you keep nagging symptoms at bay, build self sufficiency, and build resiliency. We treat each mom as the unique individual that they are because we understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to healing.

Lastly, add in some gentle stability and strengthening work into your routine!

During pregnancy, your body releases a hormone called relaxin, which makes your ligaments (the connective tissue that connects your bones) more relaxed. This happens to allow your pelvis to expand during childbirth. However, this also causes your body to feel unstable, which can cause your muscles to feel tight and stiff. Doing some stability work can help your body feel strong and stable, and alleviate the tightness you feel.

We recently treated a pregnant mom who was having hip pain with her bootcamp style workouts. We looked at how she moved, and found out that she was not stabilizing at her core as well as she could have been, which was leading to hip tightness and pain. We helped her loosen up the muscles in her hip, and taught her core how to stabilize that hip more efficiently, and she was able to continue her bootcamp workouts throughout the rest of her pregnancy!

Another common question we get from moms is, “How do I know what strength and stability work that I should be doing?”.

This is a great question, and often depends on the individual. Some moms might need to work more on core strength, others might need pelvic floor strength, some might need core stability, and others might need low back or hip strength. This is why it is important to develop a plan that is customized to you, and not generic exercises on a worksheet or from the internet. This is why we are currently offering FREE Total Body Diagnostic visits for moms. During this visit, we will discuss what you are struggling with, what your goals are, and look at your movement head to toe. We will then come up with a plan that is customized to you to help you reach your goals, and feel great in your body!

Click here to apply for one of our Total Body Diagnostic visits or give us a call at 336-271-6677 to learn more.

About The Author

Dr. Kaitlin Herzog

Dr. Herzog attended the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. She went on to earn her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Wheeling Jesuit University. Kaitlin has been an athlete for most of her life and was introduced to physical therapy when she had several sports-related injuries. She decided to become a physical therapist to help others maintain an active lifestyle while staying pain free. Kaitlin uses a hands-on approach to help people of all backgrounds optimize their movement and performance. Dr. Herzog is a record-holding competitive powerlifter, and you can find her training or competing in her spare time. She also enjoys Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, yoga, sports, hiking, baking, crafts, traveling, and exploring Greensboro with friends.​

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field