Back and pelvic pain can be a killer while your pregnant…. It just speaks exhaustion.
The good news, us osteos at Total Balance have some really simple exercises and tips to help relieve your pain.
While every pregnancy is different and presents its own unique challenges, these simple exercises are a great starting point.
All exercises are to be done slow and controlled, aiming to hold them for 3-10 seconds and repeat 10-30 times.
– Gently draw your belly button to the floor (so there is no space between your back and the floor).
– Make sure your buttocks are relaxed- don’t clench….!
– Once you have mastered this movement, try lifting one leg up while you draw your belly button down
— You can also do this exercise (minus the leg lift) in the sitting position and when walking
- Kneel on hands and knees, keeping your spine as straight as possible- this may be hard as your bubba grows….
- In this position, do a pelvic tilt and tuck your tailbone under.
- Lift one leg up and backward (do not lift above 90 degrees). Pause in this position and slowly lower your leg.
- Alternate sides.
- Repeat with arms- do a pelvic tilt and tuck your tailbone under
- Lift one arm up and forward. Pause in this position and slowly lower your arm.
- Alternate side.
- Now combine- do a pelvic tilt
- Lift one leg up and backward, lift the opposite arm up and forward. Pause in this position and slowly lower your arm and leg.
- Repeat on alternative sides.
Stretching is important in your management of back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. Perform these stretches after you have warmed up. Hold for 30-60secs, allowing yourself to gently stretch the muscle further over this time.
– Place your hands in front of you, about shoulder width apart and gently lean back onto your heels.
– Feel a gentle stretch through your back and the back of the shoulders.
- Sitting on the ground
- Spread your legs comfortably into a V
- Gently lean towards your toes with the same side arm. Do not overstretch. Just lean forward towards the knee
- Gently lift your opposite arm up into the air and lean in towards the stretching leg.
- Keep your spine straight as you lean from the hips and pelvis
- Repeat on the opposite side.
– Gently lean on the left knee
– Place your left hand on the floor inside the left knee. Alternatively, rest your elbow on your left knee
– With your right arm, stretch up towards the roof, opening up through your chest
– Do not over rotate backward or overstretch
– Repeat on the opposite side
Hip Flexor stretch
- Kneeling on your right knee with your left hip at 90 degrees and resting your left foot on the floor
- Gently lean forward into the front leg
- Lift arms up and gently reach to the ceiling as you lean forward
- Do not overarch your back
- Do not over stretch
Avoid back and pelvic pain!
- Be aware of your posture…. Keep good posture. This helps keep those muscles working and supporting your back and pelvis as your baby grows.
- If you sit at a desk for work, sit with good posture. Consider sitting on a wedge to help keep good posture throughout the day. Take regular breaks and stretch during the day.
- Avoid standing for too long. Try to get off your feet regularly to avoid fatigue of your postural muscles. Keep good posture while standing. Take the opportunity to practice pelvic tilts to help keep the muscles strong.
- Be wary of movements and postures that make your pain worse…. avoid these as much as possible. Extreme movement of your hips and spine will place stress on your back and pelvis. These are best to be avoided too.
- Find your most comfortable shoes and live in them…. and while you’re there, pop your heels in the back of the cupboard for a re-birth later down the track. High heels throw your centre of gravity further forward. This increases the sway in your back, making your back and pelvic muscles work even harder.
- When you bend, use your hips and knees. Bend right down using your legs into and out of a crouching position, saving your back. If something is heavy, ask for someone else to lift it for you. Same goes for reaching for something high up. Also twisting. Keep your back and pelvic movements simple and easy. Don’t overstress an already stressed pelvis and back!
- Aim to do more than one trip from the car to the kitchen with the shopping bags. Those days of carrying all your shopping bags while cutting off the blood supply to your forearms… those days are gone! Limit your load and take your time!
- Learn the pregnancy roll…..! Especially first thing in the morning when getting out of bed. Bend the knees and hips and roll up to the side using your arms. Let you back warm up and wake up before you ask it to haul you out of bed!
- Sleeping on your side may relieve your back pain the best. Pop a narrow pillow between your knees and one under your belly for support. Your baking 24/7 at the moment. Get all the rest you can.
How about some love for your back….
While your bubba progresses, it is a good idea to look after yourself. Letting yourself relax and revive may be the key to helping relieve your back tension.
– Meditation and relaxation techniques.
Allowing your mind to wander, letting go and processing has been proven to be effective in pain relief. It is especially useful at bedtime, especially if pain is stopping you from drifting off.
– Hot or cold therapy. Which one is better?
Which ever you get relief from. There is no golden rule. If you like the heat on your back, try a heat pack or a warm bath (not too hot). If you like cold, try a cold pack with a thin cloth/ tea towel around it to protect your skin.
– Osteo treatment may provide some relief.
Releasing the tension in the muscles and weight bearing joints can provide relief. We also guide you with your exercises and movement, helping with relief until your bubba is born. Some women get relief from a sacral belt and find that this helps. Your osteopath will discuss this with you and see if it is a suitable option for you.
There are a few things that we don’t like… and you must let us know!
Call immediately if:
- You are experiencing severe back pain that is constant, or getting progressively worse.
- You have back pain caused by trauma or accompanied by a fever.
- You have lost feeling in one or both legs, or you suddenly feel uncoordinated or weak.
- You have a loss of sensation in your buttocks, groin, genital area, or your bladder or anus. You are finding it hard to pee or have a bowel movement.
- You have low back pain in the late second or third trimester. This can be a sign of preterm labour, particularly if you haven’t had that back pain before.
- You have pain in your lower back or in your side just under your ribs, on one or both sides. This can be a sign of a kidney infection, especially if you have a fever, nausea, or blood in your urine.