Pregnancy changes everything. But Lee Health physical therapist, Pat Curr, says there’s a fine line between normal discomfort and pain. “I think with back pain and pregnancy you will have some normal back pain that comes with pregnancy but it shouldn’t be painful. It shouldn’t be debilitating. It shouldn’t keep you from doing what you need to be doing.”
If it does, that’s when patients need to change some of their body mechanics. “I do see quite a few mommies come in and they will have some pretty bad back pain. It goes from a dull ache across the low back to as severe as not being able to stand or even to walk on one side. That usually means that their pelvis is off a little bit,” said Curr.
Simple daily exercises can improve posture and movement and even strengthen their core muscles to help moms manage back pain during pregnancy. “You can actually have them activate these muscles even though they are being a little stretched as they get a little bigger, they should still be able to train these muscles to contract and relax properly to protect their lower back,” said Curr.
Expecting mothers can also change how they lift things and do quick movements to prevent back pain. “I think management is the key. If you can manage how you move and have the awareness of your low back,” said Curr.
As the baby grows, the mom’s center of gravity is pulled forward, so focusing on posture and balance can also help.
“When you are pregnant you have a change in hormones and its preparing your body for delivery. That means there is a hormone released to relax your ligaments. The ligaments are the glue to our bodies and our joints,” said Curr. When the ligaments relax, it can lead to instability and pain. Learning exercises and thinking about each movement can help moms manage their back pain during and after pregnancy.