A pregnant woman’s body undergoes a myriad of changes. While some of these changes are unnoticeable, others become symptomatic as pregnancy progresses. One of the most common issues of pregnancy is lower back pain.
As the abdomen expands with the weight of baby, placenta and extra body fluids, a woman’s lower back and hips are forced to compensate for the heavy front body, with back muscles becoming shortened and tight. The stimulation of hormones (“relaxin”) that assist in relaxing ligaments in preparation for childbirth, can lead to increased laxity in the spine and contribute to instability and lower back pain.
Pregnancy lower back pain can range from a mild aching across the lower back and hips, to more severe back pain and spasm that makes it hard to walk or weight bear. Very often, the extra spinal compression and tension can result in sciatica-like pain that shoots down the back of the leg.
What can you do to help support your lower back during pregnancy?
Wear low supportive footwear. High heeled shoes increase lower back pressure.
Support your spine in bed. Sleep on your left side to encourage optimal blood flow and use supportive pillows. For some, this is a pillow between the knees,or a full body pillow.
Maintain exercise throughout pregnancy to keep supporting muscles active and strong (consider a qualified prenatal yoga, or pilates class)
At Poke Acupuncture we address pregnancy lower back pain as follows:
Assessment of lower back and hips to see which muscles may be weak, leading to compensatory back pain.
Pregnancy acupuncture to assist in reducing muscle spasm/inflammation and decrease pain response
Cupping to improve local blood flow and release tight muscles
The increasing pressure on the back throughout pregnancy does not let up until after childbirth, and that is why lower back pain in pregnancy is considered progressive (it does not typically go away by itself!) This is why we recommend getting on top of it quickly, so that a pregnant woman can progress through her pregnancy with minimal discomfort and full mobility.
At Poke Acupuncture, we offer Newcastle acupuncture and other pregnancy therapies in the comfort of our Lambton clinic. We provide pregnancy patients with specialised pregnancy pillows so that can relax on the treatment table. We strive to provide gentle pregnancy acupuncture and offer support and advice for a range of pregnancy conditions.
To book an appointment or a free 15 minute assessment please click here
Lani Stokes, Registered Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist