The body goes through an incredible amount throughout pregnancy so it’s no surprise that we are often asked for advice, particularly for dealing with lower back pain. This blog will provide some insight into what actually causes the pain (aside from the obvious) and some stretches to try at home that might help.
As you’d expect the most common area of pain is in the lower back, usually as a result of carrying the extra weight but also from the hormones released during pregnancy.
Hormones can result in pain through a number of different ways, but from a biomechanical aspect they can lead to ligament laxity.
The ligaments around the spine are there to provide support, so if they lose tension then the result is much less stability. Just as a tent needs taut guy ropes to remain stable, the same applies to the spine.
The knock on effect is nothing to necessarily worry about – but it does mean an increased load on other structures in the spine, such as the facet joints and intervertebral discs, which can lead to aches and pains.
Also, as the baby grows, he or she can start to put pressure on the surrounding soft tissue and a cause them to stretch. As the muscles stretch they get closer to their outer range – a much weaker point. A good way to illustrate this is in the difference between a deep and a quarter squat – the deep version is much harder as you’re pushing your muscles much further into their outer range. At this point they have to work harder in order to provide the same level of support and therefore fatigue quicker.
So what can you do to help with the pain?
Below we’ve demonstrated two different exercises that are easy to try at home.
The first are resisted rotations. Do these for one minute each way every day.
The second are called ‘Good Mornings’ – we’re not sure why – but do these for two minutes each day.
As always, feel free to give us a call or drop us an email if you have any question about this or anything else.