Five tips from a chiropractor to ease pregnancy back pain
Pregnancy is a time of change and growth for mothers – physically and emotionally. Ideally it’s a period of joy, excitement, and preparation for the arrival of a new member of your family.
As your baby grows inside you, your body grows and changes too – sometimes on a weekly or, as your due date drawers near, a daily basis.
What causes pregnancy back pain?
Taking care of your own health as a mother is critical to the health and development of your baby. As a mother-to-be, you are your child’s environment for the first part of their life.
When you are relaxed, calm and happy, your baby will also be relaxed, calm and happy. And when you experience stress, they experience stress.
One common stressor during pregnancy is low back pain. This has to do with the changes encountered to accommodate a second person; as your centre of gravity shifts forward your back has more work to do to keep you upright.
What exercises can help ease pregnancy back pain?
The best exercises for pregnancy back pain are body weight exercises that focus on extension, spinal hygiene and core strength.
Try the following exercises on a regular basis and you’ll see a noticeable difference in your back pain:
- Glute bridges (hip raises).
- Side planks – repetitions of eight second holds.
- Dead bug cross crawl.
- Abdominal bracing while maintaining regular breathing.
- W and Y shoulder retraction.
Partners should be empathetic and patient. Performing these activities together is great for bonding – and an occasional foot massage goes a long way too!
Five ways you can ease pregnancy back pain
If you do suffer from back pain when you are pregnant, reaching for painkillers and medicated patches is no longer an option as most are not safe. (For the best advice regarding medication, please speak with your GP or OBGYN).
So you need to find other alternatives. Here are five suggestions to help you ease pregnancy back pain.
1) Change the intensity of your exercises
If you are early days of pregnancy then strengthening your back extenders and core musculature will make you stronger for the later months.
If you begin to become more exhausted as the weeks carry on, then doing things less intensely but at a moderate frequency will help to maintain the strength and stability of your spine.
2) Try alternative methods
Pregnancy and belly massages can help to reduce physical stress and keep you more relaxed. Yoga, meditation and mindfulness can also help lower physical and mental stress.
Yoga and mindfulness increase your understanding and knowledge of your body. And the diaphragmatic breathing is calming and increases your core and pelvic stability – both of which are necessary for giving birth. Yoga helps improve your balance and flexibility too.
3) Get help from a chiropractor
If your back pain is unbearable and hasn’t eased for several days on end, then seeking care from a trained chiropractor or osteopath is a safe and gentle solution to relieving your back aches and pains.
Chiropractic care is also an excellent preventative measure, helping to maintain a well functioning spine and nervous system which will help you adapt to the physical changes of pregnancy.
4) Try a supportive pillow
Finding a comfortable position to lie down and rest can be a struggle at times when you’re pregnant. Using supportive pillows can assist with this. There are also now several pregnancy inflatable beds on the market which allow you to lay face and belly down, comfortably and safely.
5) Change your footwear
Any heeled shoe will force your body forward, causing your lower back to arch, and in turn causing it more stress. Finding shoes that are comfortable, cushioned, and supportive is a better way to go while you’re pregnant.
Photo by Chris Benson