Why do some suffer back pain during pregnancy and other don’t?

One of the most common presenting complaints in pregnant women is lower back and pelvic pain in one form or another.

In fact two thirds of women suffer from these during pregnancy, which is completely normal and to be expected, however some women suffer more than others. Don’t worry though, these conditions are not harmful to your baby but they can be pretty uncomfortable for you!

A woman’s posture will change during pregnancy as it adapts for the growing foetus. During the third trimester, 75% of women will develop an exaggerated lumbar curve. This may place stress on the lumbar joints and the sacroiliac joints.

As the lumbar spine becomes much more lordotic, the weight of the growing baby and increase in breast size will shift the weight further forward so muscles in the spine have to work even harder in order to keep the body balanced.

Furthermore, an increase in the hormone relaxin towards the end of pregnancy can increase laxity (elasticity), leading to instability and stretching of the joint capsules which are rich in pain sensitive fibres.

This also relaxes ligaments, causing them to become looser and the joints to become more mobile. This prepares your body for the baby passing through the pelvis. Unfortunately, the ligaments supporting the discs will also loosen, therefore making women more prone to disc injuries.

Usually your joints, nerves and muscles are able to adapt and compensate for the greater flexibility in your joints and excess weight, and your posture will naturally change to accommodate your growing baby.

Pain arises when your body does not adapt or cope well with these changes.

Osteopathy offers an effective way of relaxing strained muscles, loosening restricted joints and providing relief from aching backs. Allowing muscles to relax and recover – even for a short time – can provide noticeable relief from your symptoms. 

Want to know more?

Come along and learn more about your back and how to reduce back pain in pregnancy at my talk: Why do some women suffer with back pain during pregnancy and others don't?

I’ll be at the Well Natural Health food store in Salisbury on Saturday 18th February.

See you there!

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