During pregnancy your body undergoes many changes which can affect your musculoskeletal system and make you more prone to experiencing pain in your back and pelvis. Relaxin is a hormone produced that peaks at week 12 of pregnancy and continues to be produced throughout pregnancy. It has the role of increasing the laxity in your ligaments allowing your baby to grow and allowing the birthing process itself to occur.
This extra laxity in your ligaments needs to be compensated for by having strong stabilising muscles to provide you with extra support for your back and pelvis. The other challenge faced is that the weight of your baby leads to alterations in your spinal curves, centre of gravity, balance and weight on your pelvic floor muscles. Without adequate flexibility, and support for these body changes, pain can be experienced as the body takes extra stress and movement in areas that it is not designed to. It is very important to understand the changes your body goes through during pregnancy, and to learn ways of keeping your body strong enough to withstand these changes to help avoid pain.
Tips on avoiding back and pelvic pain during pregnancy:
Try to maintain a good posture in all positions, when sitting try placing a small pillow in your low back to help support your back’s natural curve
Try placing a pillow between your legs when sleeping on your side, and one under your abdomen for further support.
Try to avoid remaining in one position for long periods of time
Avoid crossing your legs and sitting in a twisted position
Avoid heavy lifting and carrying shopping in one hand
Keep as active as you can, whilst avoiding the activities that increase your pain. Pacing yourself and introducing rest periods within activity can help with this.
Perform specific pregnancy strengthening exercises to help support your spine and pelvis throughout pregnancy
Avoid standing on 1 leg/ moving your legs separately i.e. get dressed sitting down, try to move your legs together whilst turning in bed/ getting in and out of the car.
Pregnancy Pilates at Oxford Circus Physiotherapy will you stay pain free and healthy during your Pregnancy. Read more about this service here: Pregnancy Pilates