Pain During Pregnancy

Pain During Pregnancy -

Pregnancy backachePregnancy Pains are Preventable

We are told that lower back pain is “normal” during pregnancy, but is that correct? This pain is a result of our movement, postural change, or alignment. During the course of pregnancy, the body posture and alignment changes which increases the stress on the sacroiliac joint (SIJ), this can causes lower back pain.

As pregnancy progresses, the body changes begin and the center of mass begins to move anteriorly with the increasing abdominal weight. Your body is no longer over your pelvis, where it should be, this increases the lordosis or ‘sway back’ on the lower back. This increases the hip external rotation or ‘duck foot’ position of the legs as well as decreases the abdominal control. The excessive growth from the uterus pushes on the abdominal wall causing the musculature on the front to become passively insufficient and weak, hello rectus diastasis. Without stability from the abdominal wall, more stress is placed on the lumbar spine and sacrum or thoracic spine and neck. With the influence of the hormone relaxin, your SI joint is now providing less support and more demand is placed on your lower back.

What is Normal?

In normal mechanics, the sacrum is used as a fulcrum to transfer stress of the body forces from one side to the other, when this fulcrum gets positioned incorrectly, those stresses are transferred elsewhere causing overutilization of other joints, muscles, or ligaments. Some symptoms include: sacroiliac pain (SI pain), groin pain, back pain, knee pain, cramping hamstrings, piriformis pain, pubic symphasis pain, etc.

What will you feel?

Other compensatory symptoms include midback pain, scapular pain, neck pain, tension headaches, and vision changes. With the decreased abdominal control with the transverse abdominis, unilateral or bilateral rib flares will be apparent and the excessive extension throughout your entire body is present.

How do we fix this?

Addressing some of these patterns will allow you to directly modify your pelvic inlet and outlet position. Your pelvis inlet is where your uterus sits and where the baby grows. The changes in your pelvis will affect the entire duration of pregnancy and change your experience during delivery. As your pelvis forwardly tips creating more lordosis in your lower back, your pelvic inlet becomes bigger and your pelvic outlet becomes smaller. This means that there is a more comfortable baby now, but the outlet is much smaller than desired.

Prevention is key

Addressing these pains early will allow your pregnancy to be more enjoyable. It is important to recognize these patterns early and even if there is no pain associated with pregnancy a recommendation to a Postural Restoration Physical Therapist is beneficial to decrease the chronic, patterned changes that the body will continue to produce. Just think, what your body would be saying after 3 pregnancies?

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