Treatment of pregnancy related low back pain

Health practitioners

  • Hands on treatment with practitioners such an osteopath, physiotherapist, myotherapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist can assist in improving and managing your symptoms.
  • Discuss your symptoms with your GP, midwife, Obstetrician.
  • An exercise program to strengthen associated low back and pelvic musculature with a specialised personal trainer, physio, Pilates or yoga instructor.
  • Pelvic floor and core strengthening can assist greatly especially learning to brace these muscles when you need to lift or bend. Speak to your health practitioner about these.
  • Some women experience feelings of depression, guilt, grief or anger associated with the condition. Speaking to a psychologist, councillor or a support group can assist.

Everyday tasks

  • Listen to your body, pain is there for a reason. If it hurts, you are best to stop and avoid that activity. Ie- shopping, vacuuming, sweeping.
  • Ask for help with everything, the less you strain your low back, the better you will be ie-… shopping, cleaning, childcare, work, lifting.
  • Avoid heavy lifting- try to get a toddler to climb onto a stool or chair before lifting them up.
  • Get a stool to sit on when doing tasks such as ironing, washing dishes and cooking.
  • Play with children when seated where possible.
  • A claw can be of great assistance to help you pick things up off the floor.

Sleeping

  • Sleep with something in between your knees such as a body pillow or a knee & ankle pillow
  • Try sleeping with silk or satin PJ’s as you can slide rather than have to pick yourself up to shift to turn over.
  • You may find it easier to turn over in bed by going up on all 4s.
  • A total body support  pregnancy pillow can take some of the pressure off your pelvis and low back when lying.
  • When turning over, contract your pelvic floor and core abdominal muscles to give you more support.

Movement

  • Use your hips and knees to bend rather than your back. Ie- squat to pick something up off the ground rather than bending.
  • Use proper lifting techniques to avoid straining your back further.
  • You need to rest and avoid irritating your back however you still need to remain active to avoid losing muscular strength. This is a delicate balancing act.

Sit

  • with your knees under the height of your hips.
  • without crossing your legs.
  • With your weight evenly over both of your sitting bones.

Tips

  • Ice packs over the painful areas can be beneficial in reducing the pain.
  • Stretch your low back muscles.
  • Learning relaxation techniques such as meditation may assist by decreasing sensitivity to pain, decrease muscle tension and improve sleep.
  • The majority of women have no pain after 3 months post birth and have a very significant decrease in the pain in the days following the delivery.
  • Sitting on bum balls may help decrease tension and pain in your gluteal muscles. Getting your partner to gently put pressure on the gluteal muscles when you are lying on your side may also give you some relief.

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