Lower Back and Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy
Are you currently pregnant, or newly postpartum and experiencing back pain? Well, you are not alone. Lower back pain and pelvic pain are common in pregnancy, affecting an estimated 2/3 of pregnant women. Not only is this pain annoying and, well, painful, it can interfere with sleep, your ability to work, and your normal daily activities. To top it off, this pain often carries on after delivery with an estimated 25-40% of women experiencing musculoskeletal pain in the first 18 months postpartum. Fortunately relief can be found. Manual therapies such as chiropractic care, osteopathic manipulation, acupuncture, massage, and exercise have been found to help reduce the intensity of lower back and pelvic pain in pregnancy, as well as improve the woman’s ability to function normally in her daily activities.
Lower back pain in pregnancy is thought to occur for a few different reasons. The first theory is that back pain develops due to changes in posture to accommodate the growing fetus and womb. As more weight is added to the front of the body, the lower back compensates by increasing its curvature (aka lordosis). This change in spinal curvature alters the load and stress handled by the muscles and joints of the lower back/pelvis and can lead to pain. The second theory is that hormonal changes can alter the neuromuscular control of the lower back and pelvis. These hormonal changes start to occur in the first trimester and alter the body’s ability to stabilize your joints and muscles.
The pain resulting from pregnancy-related posture and joint stability can be addressed through conservative treatments such as chiropractic, osteopathy, massage, and acupuncture. In chiropractic care, a combination of treatments including joint mobilizations, gentle chiropractic manipulative therapy, exercise, and education has been shown to lead to a significant reduction in pregnancy-related lower back/pelvic pain and disability, and reduce trouble sleeping.
For more information or to arrange an appointment with one of our practitioners, please contact Energize Health.
By Dr. Caitlyn Cameron,
George, J.W., Skaggs, C.D., et al. A randomized controlled trial comparing a multimodal intervention and standard obstetrics care for low back and pelvic pain in pregnancy. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2013;21; 295.31-295.e7
Liddle, S.D., Pennick, V. Interventions for preventing and treating low-back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2015.