Pregnancy statistics (2008)
- The pelvic belt helped approximately 50% of women during pregnancy and 66% after pregnancy.
- Bed rest and exercise appeared to be the best treatments resulting in the rapid recovery of 65%.
- Bed rest alone: only 40% got better
- Exercise alone: only 35% improved — 20% of the patients worsened without appropriate bed rest included
- Manual Therapy: 20% of the patients indicated their pain was worse
- Medication and Massage: 70% of experienced only temporary relief
Bastiaanssen et al, 2005 :
80% o fpregnant women get pain in the pelvic region or low back at some point.
American pregnancy association
50-70% experience back pain at some point during pregnancy.
What causes back pain during pregnancy?
Back pain during pregnancy is related to a number of factors. Some women begin to experience lower back pain with the onset of pregnancy. Women who are most at risk for back pain are those who are overweight or had back pain prior to pregnancy. Here is a list of potential causes of back pain or discomfort during pregnancy:
- Increase of hormones – hormones released during pregnancy allow ligaments in the pelvic area to soften and the joints to become looser in preparation for the birthing process of your baby; this shift in joints and loosening of ligaments may affect the support your back normally experiences
- Center of gravity – your center of gravity will gradually move forward as your uterus and baby grow, which causes your posture to change
- Additional weight – your developing pregnancy and baby create additional weight that your back must support
- Posture or position – poor posture, excessive standing, and bending over can trigger or escalate the pain you experience in your back
- Stress – stress usually finds the weak spot in the body, and because of the changes in your pelvic area, you may experience an increase in back pain during stressful periods of your pregnancy
How can you prevent or minimize back pain during pregnancy?
Back pain may not be prevented completely, but there are things that you can do to reduce the severity or frequency. Here are a few steps you can take to help reduce the back pain you are experiencing:
- Use exercises approved by your health care provider that support and help strengthen the back and abdomen
- Squat to pick up something versus bending over
- Avoid high heels and other shoes that do not provide adequate support
- Avoid sleeping on your back
- Wear a support belt under your lower abdomen
- Make sure your back is aligned using a chiropractor
- Get plenty of rest. Elevating your feet is also good for your back