Over half of all pregnant women will experience some kind of back pain before, during, or after their pregnancy. About 40 percent of these women experience lower back pain due to sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The sacroiliac joint serves to connect the tailbone and the pelvic bone as well as the spine to the pelvis. As a result, this region forms the base for spinal movements and is placed under much stress during pregnancy. While the specific reasons and causes for back pain during pregnancy vary from person to person, the majority of back pain comes from one of the following:
- Additional weight gain
- Hormone increase
- Body’s center of gravity shifts
- Additional stress
- Decline in posture
- Muscle separation
In addition, changes in the time at which women have babies have shifted drastically over the years. In the last 40 years, the average age that a woman has her first child has increased from 21.4 to 25 years of age. From being more active in today’s workforce to the pursuit of higher education, there are a variety of reasons that women are now having babies at a later age. In fact, recent trends point to women being over the age of thirty five when they have their first baby. As such, physical activity is limited in their day-to-day lives. This limitation in physical exercise leads to women’s bodies being unprepared for the strains associated with carrying and then delivering a baby.
Physical therapy is an excellent way to reduce the above factors that leads to back pain during pregnancy. A chiropractor or physical therapist will be able to create a treatment plan that focuses on soft tissues through a variety of exercises and stretches. More specifically, the physical therapy plan will serve to reduce the triggers that typically cause the back pain. The following elements will be the focus of the back pain treatment plan:
- Muscle strength
- Nerve involvement
- Joint alignment
Physical therapy will play an enormous role in relieving the pain and strain that comes from carrying a baby. The sheer involvement in something active is likely to decrease stress that is commonly linked to pregnancy. In addition, as the treatment plan concentrates on strengthening muscles and improving posture, lower back pain will be relieved and eventually subside.