Many people deal with lower back pain every day, especially pregnant women or those who have recently delivered a baby. Lower back pain can easily become debilitating if left untreated, at a time when new moms most want to be fully present for their babies and their families, and enjoy life as a new parent.
Fortunately, lower back pain can be treated with physiotherapy. Our specially trained physiotherapists at our Nepean physiotherapy center can introduce you to a series of exercises and treatments to help you address lower back pain. We'll list these in today's post.
What causes low back pain for pregnant women and new moms?
Many women suffer from low back pain throughout pregnancy or after delivery. During your pregnancy and after your little one has arrived, your body is undergoing monumental hormonal changes. At the same time, posture is shifting, ligaments are becoming laxer and weight gain is happening.
Second or subsequent pregnancies can add additional stress and strain on joints that are already working hard - any mom who also has a new toddler demanding attention while baby is kicking has experienced this feeling!
When we put demands on our body while change is happening within it, this can add up to more physical and mental stress, which often manifests as chronic lower back pain.
How can physiotherapy help post-partum low back pain?
Good post-partum pain management can start while you are pregnant.
Your physiotherapist can design an exercise, training, reconditioning or treatment program to help relieve your lower back pain and other prenatal or post-partum symptoms such as pelvic pain and urinary incontinence. After your physiotherapist has assessed your specific needs, they can recommend safe, effective exercises, for both during your pregnancy and post-partum.
Typically, your physiotherapist will take the following steps to help you prepare for labour and delivery, and to treat postnatal back pain and other symptoms:
- Conduct a detailed evaluation to discover the issues contributing to your pain or dysfunction
- Educate expectant mothers about pain and pain management, and addressing their fears, goals and concerns regarding labour to help calm stress and anxiety
- Assess body posture, flexibility, balance and physical strength, in addition to any musculoskeletal issues that may impact pregnancy, labour delivery
- Guide patients to perform exercises while keeping their safety top of mind
- Optimize birthing positions to make as much room as possible for the baby coming through the birth canal
Physiotherapy, and specifically physical therapy for back pain, can play an integral role in alleviating pain after you've given birth. A primary goal of post-delivery reconditioning is to safely and progressively help your body return to its pre-pregnancy and/or delivery function.
You and your physiotherapist can achieve this by developing an active core strengthening program to help you recover the strength you'll need to meet the many demands of motherhood. This may include specific pelvic floor muscle strengthening exercises for those dealing with back or pelvic dysfunction.
Alleviating pain and discomfort with proper posture, positioning, and use of pelvic supports or taping may also be top priorities. Additional treatments may include:
- Massage Therapy
- Joint mobilization and stretching
Every body is different and responds differently to stimuli. Each pregnancy will also be different. We can help you navigate your unique pregnancy and all the changes that come with it, both pre-delivery and after baby has arrived.
Prenatal & Postpartum Physiotherapy
Our registered physiotherapists at our sister location in Nepean work with expectant and new moms to develop prenatal and postpartum physiotherapy programs custom designed for them.
In our closed-door, dedicated private treatment room at our physiotherapy clinic, we offer private, compassionate pelvic physiotherapy care to treat health issues that can arise as a result of pelvic floor issues caused by pregnancy. These may include low back pain, increased pelvic pressure and more.