How to relieve pregnancy back pain

How to relieve pregnancy back pain

Back pain during pregnancy is a real drag, but osteopath Dr Stephen Sandler knows how you can relieve it

 2771

During pregnancy the body secretes a hormone called relaxin that softens the ligaments holding the pelvic bones together and allows room for the baby to descend into the pelvis on its way to the world.

Sometimes a joint gets stuck causing painful muscle spasms or even sciatica if the sciatic nerve is trapped. More than 80 per cent of pregnant women get back pain of some form or another during pregnancy, so you are not alone. Most back pain is caused by muscle spasms protecting overstrained spinal or pelvic joints.

Osteopathic treatment is safe. Every validated school of Osteopathy now has an Expectant Mothers Clinic. The only caveat is if you have a history of recurrent early trimester miscarriage. Then, any undue stress to the pelvis is probably best avoided, and so in these specific cases we advise against treatment. Normally osteopaths can treat right up to labour.

Work to the muscles using massage-like techniques and gentle stretches, as well as gentle manipulation and mobilisation techniques, should soon have you feeling easier. Partners are encouraged into the treatment room where we can teach them massage techniques that can be done at home to make the pregnancy and birth a shared experience.

However, it's an uphill struggle. As you get more pregnant, you weigh more, yet the joints still get looser. This is why some women need osteopathic treatment throughout their pregnancy.

Pillows in bed to prevent you from rolling over can help, as can Sacro Iliac binders or belts. There are a lot of products out there sold for pregnancy back pain that are not very helpful but an osteopath should be able to guide you to the correct binder if that is what you need. We encourage swimming, yoga or pilates as ways of gently getting the muscles moving safely.

Post-natal you would usually be checked at six weeks. You may still need one or two treatments to get you back on track to a full recovery. The majority of women recover well with no back issues to bother them.

Some osteopaths, particularly if they are trained in paediatric or cranial osteopathic techniques, even offer a post-natal check for the new baby. It can be very effective after long or difficult labours when the baby may have issues settling into a sleep pattern or feeding pattern due to minor strains and moulding issues in the bones of the head and face. It is very gentle, often immediate and effective, and can be very reassuring for new mums.

Dr Stephen Sandler is consultant osteopath at The Portland Hospital in London.

email block

varicose-veins-during-pregnancyPregnancy

What can you do about varicose veins during pregnancy?

Varicose veins are the result of increases in hormone levels, blood volume, and pressure from the baby
your-first-pregnancy-scanPregnancy

Your first pregnancy scan

Everything you need to know about your first baby scan
new-pregnancy-app-for-vaccination-remindersPregnancy

New pregnancy app for vaccination reminders

Researchers have produced an app to advise and remind pregnant women about vaccinations
start-your-enginesWin

LEGO DUPLO has launched three fantastic fun-filled Disney Pixar Cars 3 sets

Pre-school fans of Disney Pixar Cars 3 can recreate all the fun of the new movie with three exciting and...
win-a-little-swallows-travel-cot-from-izziwotnotWin

WIN a Little Swallows Travel Cot from Izziwotnot

Enter our competition for a chance to win a luxury travel cot worth £89!
win-free-tickets-to-this-morning-live-and-see-our-editor-scarlett-on-stage-with-holly-willoughbyWin

Win free tickets to This Morning Live and see our Editor Scarlett on stage with Holly Willoughby

See Gurgle Editor Scarlett Brady on stage with Holly Willoughby, Dr Rang and Editor of Netmums Annie O Leary to...