Preventing back and pelvic pain

Top tips for preventing back and pelvic pain during pregnancy By Camilla Lawrence for Absolute Mama January 2019 issue

Over 50% of pregnant women suffer from pain in their low back and/or joints of their pelvis. Pain can not only affect a woman’s daily quality of life and sleep as her pregnancy develops, but also, if allowed to persist, her labour options and recovery following delivery.

  1. Think about your posture – try to stand up tall. As the weight of your bump increases, don’t be tempted to slouch or lean back.
  2. Avoid standing for long periods of time (drinks parties, weddings, cooking) especially if you are wearing high heels. Sitting down, even for 5-10 minutes every half an hour, will help.
  3. Walking can be a great form of exercise during pregnancy unless you have pelvic pain.  If walking is making your pain worse, slow your pace down, take much smaller steps.
  4. Avoid the “waddle”! Swaying from side to side as you walk may seem easier, but this often increases the shear forces through your back and pelvic joints, increasing your risk of back and pelvic pain.
  5. Attend a weekly core-stability exercise class (Ante-Natal Pilates or Yoga are ideal) to help keep your back and other joints strong and supple.
  6. Avoid activities that aggravate your pain. This may sound obvious, but often we don’t listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us.
  7. Reduce lifting where possible – your back and abdominal muscles are under enough pressure as it is.  
  8. Rest when you can (in lying or supported sitting), particularly during your 3rd trimester when your body is under more strain.  

Do not put up with pain; whilst common during pregnancy, it is not normal to be in pain. Seek prompt treatment from a specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist.

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