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How to Relieve Low Back Pain During Pregnancy

How to Relieve Low Back Pain During Pregnancy

Low back pain is a common issue among women who are pregnant. Around 50-80% of pregnant women will suffer from low back pain which can significantly impact their quality of life during their 40 weeks of child bearing.

So what causes low back pain during pregnancies? There are a few causative factors:

  • Hormonal changes – the body produces a hormone called relaxin to prepare the body for labor which loosens the ligament and joints around the pelvic region and lumbar spine. These bodily changes lead to instability and pain.
  • Weight gain – the increase body weight and increase in abdominal diameter aka “baby bump” shifts your center of gravity forward, increasing stress/lumbar lordosis and putting more compressional forces on the spine.
  • Muscle weakness – The growing baby takes a lot of space in the uterus, consequently stretching out the abdominal muscles, weakening the support required for the low back.

EXERCISES & TIPS FOR LOW BACK PAIN DURING PREGNANCY

*Always consult with your OBYGN or primary doctor before starting these exercises*

Build Your Core

Ab Bracing

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and place a towel on the small of your back.
  2. Try to decrease the space between your back and towel by flattening out your low back.
  3. Make sure to keep the buttocks relaxed to isolate your abdominals.
  4. Hold for 10 seconds for 10 times. Repeat 5-10 throughout the day.
  5. If you are not able to lie on your back, sit on an exercise ball and draw your lower belly in without holding your breath.
  6. Hold for 10 seconds for 10 times. Repeat 5-10 throughout the day.

Hip Strengthening

Clam Shells

  1. Lie on your side with your hip and knee bent, then lift your knee towards the ceiling, keeping your feet together.
  2. It is important that your hips do not fall backwards.
  3. Once this becomes easy, use a resistance band for added challenge!

Bridges

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent close to your butt and arms rested by your sides.
  2. Now, press your heels into the floor to raise your butt off the floor, squeezing your butt muscles at the top.

Keep Moving

If you don’t use it, you lose it! Don’t be afraid to go for a short walk at the park.

FREE ASSESSMENT

If you have low back pain during or even after pregnancy, physical therapy can help. Your physical therapist can customize a treatment program and teach you the right exercises to help you live your 9 months pain-free!

 

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Linda Yun, PT, DPT
During her free time, Linda loves hiking, biking, snowboarding, and exploring other outdoor activities California has to offer. She wants to take up on yoga and boxing.
Linda Yun, PT, DPT

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