Why did I have so much back pain after pregnancy?
Having back pain, as well as the pelvis, after pregnancy is quite common due to all the changes that occur during and after pregnancy. The pain can come early or late in pregnancy, and also after the birth itself. The pain may persist for a long time, but proper treatment can help reduce the ailments.
Pelvic pain is a nuisance affecting up to 50% of pregnant women, according to the large Norwegian mother / child survey (also known as MoBa).
During pregnancy, changes occur as the abdomen grows. This in turn leads to weakened abdominal muscles which causes your posture to change, among other things you get an increased curve in the lower back and the pelvis / pelvis tips forward. This leads to a change in the biomechanical loads and can mean more work for certain muscles and joints. Especially the back stretchers and lower joints of the lower back are often exposed.
Some of the most common causes of such ailments are natural changes throughout pregnancy (changes in posture, gait, and change in muscular load), sudden overloads, repeated failure over time, and little physical activity. Often it is a combination of causes that cause pelvic pain, so it is important to treat the problem in a holistic way, taking into account all factors; muscles, joints, movement patterns and possible ergonomic fit.
Pelvic relief is one of the very first things mentioned when talking about pelvic pain. Sometimes it is mentioned correctly, other times by mistake or lack of knowledge. relaxin is a hormone found in both pregnant and non-pregnant women. During pregnancy, relaxin works by producing and remodeling collagen, which in turn leads to increased elasticity in muscles, tendons, ligaments and tissue in the birth canal - this provides enough movement in the area involved for the baby to be born.
But, and that's a big but. Research in several large studies has ruled out that the levels of relaxin are a cause of pelvic joint syndrome (Petersen 1994, Hansen 1996, Albert 1997, Björklund 2000). These relaxin levels were the same in both pregnant women with pelvic joint syndrome and those without. Which in turn leads us to the conclusion that Pelvic joint syndrome is a multifactorial problem, and should then be treated with a combination of exercise aimed at muscle weakness, joint therapy and muscle work.
This remodeling performed by the hormone relaxin can cause you to experience some more instability and altered function - which in turn can lead to more muscular ailments. This can be marked with, among other things changed gait, difficulty in getting up from sitting and supine position, as well perform activity in a bent position.
"Unfortunately, these changes do not go away overnight. Your back may continue to ache, before your muscles gradually regain their strength / function and your joints become less dysfunctional. This often requires a strong personal effort in collaboration with manual treatment to achieve the best results. "
It is also natural that a long and difficult birth can lead to more back / pelvic pain.
As you get further and further into your pregnancy you will experience a gradual forward tipping of the pelvis. This is called anterior pelvic tilt in English, and occurs naturally as the baby grows inside the abdomen. One thing that often happens in pregnancy is that you get some forward bending in the lower back when performing certain movements, which can lead to overloading if you do not think about ergonomic performance when lifting and the like. Many people feel that this forward bend also causes muscular and joint pains in the chest and neck - in addition to the lower back.
- For example, try to sit back a little when breastfeeding with a pillow behind the neck for a little more support. Breastfeeding should not be an unpleasant experience for either mother or child.
- Take abdominal brace / neutral spine principle when performing lifting. This involves tightening the abdominal muscles and ensuring that you have a neutral curve in the lower back when lifting.
- 'Emergency position' can be a good resting position when the back hurts. Lie down with your legs high on a chair or similar. A rolled up towel is inserted under the lower back to maintain the normal lordosis / low back curve and the legs rest on a chair with 90 degrees angle on the upper leg and 45 degrees angle on the knees.
Difficulty finding a good lying position? Tried ergonomic pregnancy pillow?
Some think that a so-called pregnancy pillow can provide good relief for sore back and pelvic pain. If so, we recommend Leachco Snoogle, which is the best seller on Amazon and has over 2600 (!) positive feedback.
It is very tough to be a new employee in the position 'mother' with all the changes and strains it brings with it (at the same time as it is fantastic). Something that does not help is pain and discomfort in the body. Light, specific exercises from the start can help reduce the duration of pain and help prevent any pain in the future. As little as 20 minutes, 3 times a week with specific training can do wonders. And if we think about it… what is really a little training time in exchange for less pain, more energy and improved function? In the long run, it will actually save you time, as you spend less time in pain.
A good start is walking, with or without spells. Walking with sticks has proven benefits through several studies (Takeshima et al, 2013); including increased upper body strength, better cardiovascular health and flexibility. You do not have to go for long walks either, try it out, but take it very calmly in the beginning - for example with walks of around 20 minutes on rough terrain (for example land and forest terrain). If you have had a caesarean section, you must remember that you must wait for approval from your doctor before doing specific exercises / training.
Buy nordic walking stick?
We recommend Chinook Nordic Strider 3 Anti-Shock Hiking Pole, as it has shock absorption, as well as 3 different tips that allow you to adapt to normal ground, rough terrain or icy terrain.
If you take any good input, we appreciate leaving a comment in the box below.
Nobuo Takeshima, Mohammod M. Islam, Michael E. Rogers, Nicole L. Rogers, Naoko Sengoku, Daisuke Koizumi, Yukiko Kitabayashi, Aiko Imai, and Aiko Naruse. Effects of Nordic Walking Compared to Conventional Walking and Band-Based Resistance Exercise on Fitness in Older Adults. J Sports Sci Med. Sep 2013; 12 (3): 422–430.