Women’s health Spot: Is back and pelvic pain ruining your pregnancy?

One in five pregnant women experience low back pain. If it lasts longer than a week or is interfering with your day-to-day life..speak to your Physio or Dr. If you get the right advice early on the symptoms should lessen and in most cases disappear completely.

Pain can be felt across the front of the pubic bone, across the lower tummy or across the lower back.

What are the most common symptoms?
  • Difficulty walking
  • Pain when standing on one leg eg. climbing stairs
  • Pain when opening the legs eg. getting in and out of the car
  • Clicking or grinding in the pelvic area (can feel or hear it)
 One in five pregnant women experience low back pain. If it lasts longer than a week or is interfering with your day-to-day life..speak to your Physio or Dr. If you get the right advice early on the symptoms should lessen and in most cases disappear completely.
 
Pain can be felt across the front of the pubic bone, across the lower tummy or across the lower back.
 
What are the most common symptoms?
  • Difficulty walking
  • Pain when standing on one leg eg. climbing stairs
  • Pain when opening the legs eg. getting in and out of the car
  • Clicking or grinding in the pelvic area (can feel or hear it)
  • Limited or painful hip movements eg. turning over in bed
  • Difficulty lying in some positions e.g. on your back or side
 
What are the causes?
Sometimes there is no obvious explanation for the cause of low back pain or commonly known as Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) in pregnant women. Usually, there is a combination of factors causing PGP including:
  • The pelvic girdle joints moving unevenly due to ligament laxity
  • A change in the activity of the muscles of your tummy, pelvic girdle, hip and pelvic floor which can lead to the pelvic girdle becoming less stable 
  • A previous fall or accident that has damaged your pelvis
  • A small number of women may have pain in the pelvic joints caused by hormones
  • Occasionally the position of the baby may produce symptoms related to PGP.
How do I manage PGP?
See your Physio for a diagnosis and treatment
 
What you can do:
  • Limit lifting
  • Sit down to get dressed and undressed; avoid standing on one leg
  • Wear flat supportive shoes
  • Avoid standing to do such tasks as ironing
  • Try to keep your knees together when moving in and out of the car; be ladylike! A plastic carrier bag on the seat may help you to swivel
  • Sleep in a comfortable position e.g. Lie on your side with a pillow between your legs
  • Try different ways of turning in bed e.g. Log rolling,  turning under or turning over with your knees together and squeezing your buttocks
  • Roll in and out of bed keeping your knees together
  • Take the stairs one at a time (try going upstairs leading with your less painful leg and downstairs lead with the more painful one [alternatively, you may find it easier to go downstairs leading with the less painful one]) or go upstairs backwards or on your bottom