50 to 70 % of all pregnant women suffer from lower back pain. Affected women feel the pain between the lower ribs and buttocks, sometimes even in their thighs, knees or calves. The pain can occur at any time during pregnancy.
During pregnancy the growing baby belly shifts the body’s centre of gravity forward. the abdominal muscles, which have a major influence on the stabilization of the body, are less strong. Sometimes there is also a gap in the straight abdominal muscles, a so-called diastasis recti. This leads to an increased curvature of the spine, which increases the pressure on the lower back.
Changes in Hormone Levels
If the pain already occurs at the beginning of pregnancy, it is because of changes in hormone levels. Hormones released during pregnancy soften the tissue. As a result, stabilising ligaments of the pelvis can no longer perform as well as they usually do. The reduced stability causes a higher load in the pelvis and back area.
The growing baby in the uterus can also have an influence on the mother’s blood circulation. It can cause a reduced blood flow in the pelvic area and lower back, as well as in the legs. Affected women often complain about swollen legs. The swelling occurs mainly in the feet and lower legs.
Physiotherapy is the therapy of choice for back pain during pregnancy. Important are exercises to stabilize the pelvic and back area. Stretching and loosening exercises and general relaxation techniques help to relieve pain. Manual therapy is also an effective way to treat back pain during pregnancy. Your physiotherapist can give you tips for relief in everyday life, for support at work and for the forthcoming birth.
Preparation for Childbirth
Pelvic floor exercises are important as preparation for childbirth and for rapid pain relief afterwards. Stabilising pelvic belts, yoga, acupuncture, medication, reflexology, classical or medical massages and lymphatic drainage can also be helpful during pregnancy for the above-mentioned complaints.
Most women recover in the first few months after birth. Back pain usually improves quickly. Weight reduction and physiotherapy after pregnancy are considered positive for rapid recovery. Physiotherapy after pregnancy is mainly used to rebuild fitness. Your therapist will accompany you with correctly dosed exercises for the pelvic floor, abdominal and back muscles until you feel fit again.