Zionsville: Pregnancy & Back Pain


APRIL, 2019


It is no secret that pregnancy takes quite the toll on your body. It is normal for expecting mothers to experience musculoskeletal aches and pains, and one of the most commonly reported areas of discomfort is the back. In fact, most expecting mothers experience back pain, usually during the second half of their pregnancy. Fortunately, physical therapy treatments can help relieve your undesirable back pain so you can get back to comfortably doing what matters most – preparing for your new bundle of joy. Why do you experience back pain during pregnancy? The short answer is this: you’re growing a baby! Most expecting mothers report their back pain occurring at the “sacroiliac joint,” which is the area where your pelvis meets your spine.This happens due to a combination of several factors, including: • Increased weight. Women typically gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. This puts extra stress on the spine, since it is responsible for supporting your weight. The growing baby in your uterus also puts extra pressure on the nerves and blood vessels surrounding your back and pelvis, which can also contribute to your back pain. • Separation of muscles. As your uterus continues to expand throughout your pregnancy, stress is put on your “rectus abdominis” muscles. These muscles run parallel to one another, from the rib cage to the pubic bone. With continued expansion of the uterus, it is possible for these muscles to separate along the center seam, in a condition known as “diastasis recti.” This may cause or further aggravate your back pain because it destabilizes your spine and pelvis.

• Changes in posture. When you’re pregnant, your center of gravity changes. To compensate for this, most women will adjust their posture and the way they move, sometimes without even realizing they are doing so. Postural changesmay cause a strain in the back, leading to discomfort. • Changes in hormones. During pregnancy, your body releases a hormone known as “relaxin.” This increases joint laxity and – much like its name infers – allows the ligaments and joints in the pelvic area to relax. This is your body’s natural way of preparing for vaginal birth, however the relaxin hormone can also cause ligaments in the spine and pelvis to loosen. In fact it may cause many joints in the body to loosen excessively during pregnancy. When this happens, instability and pain can ensue.


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