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Low Back Pain During Pregnancy

Low Back Pain Pregnant

Congratulations, you are pregnant or have already given birth. You may be thinking why is this lovely child already a pain in my back. Well good news is you are not alone. At least 50% of women experience low back pain during pregnancy and or postpartum. Now just because this is common does not mean that this is something that you have to accept and deal with.

Why This Happens

  1. 1
    Changes in Posture - As your belly gets larger your center of gravity begins to shift forward. This can cause an increase in sway in the low back. This change can change the way pressure is dispersed throughout the spine.
  2. 2
    Changes in Hormones - Throughout pregnancy you have an increase in a hormone called relaxin. This causes an improvement in laxity and mobility around your pelvis as well as other muscles and ligaments. This is a positive when it comes to giving birth, but can cause a decrease in stability. This can cause pain because you are moving too much.
  3. 3
    Abdominal muscles are stretched - As your belly is growing your abdominal muscles are stretched and this can cause a decrease in core muscle strength. This can decrease the extra support to the low back.
  4. 4
    Upper back can be tightThe tightness in your upper back can cause increased stress on your lower back.
  5. 5
    Hip tightness and weaknessWith adjusting how you walk to bring your legs out wider and feet turned out you can shorten your hip muscles and they can be weak. This can put increased stress on your back.
  6. 6
    Poor lifting mechanicsWhen you are tired you may not be lifting with the best mechanics and using more of your back then you should.

Alternative Options

Things you can try or may have tried. Massage therapist for a prenatal massage, going to a chiropractor. Trying yoga, exercise, walking. Using the belly support band. 


  • Posture Tips: Try to unlock your knees, flatten your low back, and bring shoulder blades down and together. For shoes try to find one that gives you some arch support. Try avoiding flats and high heels, because they can further change where your center of gravity is. 
  • Abdominal Bracing: To strengthen your core. Bring your belly button toward your spine. If you feel the bones at the front of your hip go just in from that. When you bring your belly button toward your spine you should feel a muscle tighten under your fingers. Another way is to act like you are trying to put on a tight pair of pants. Hold this contraction for 2- 3 seconds 10 times and make sure to breathe while doing this exercise. Check out this youtube video for additional guidance: https://youtu.be/Hwy_84i8qP0
  • Posterior Pelvic Tilt: To strengthen your core and improve your standing posture. While you are sitting up or laying down with your head elevated and knees bent. Try to flatten your back. You can act like you have a glass of water on your belly you are trying to bring towards your mouth by moving your hips. Check out this youtube video for additional guidance: https://youtu.be/VtKgdoxCzOE
  • Child’s Pose: This is a good stretch to decrease the pressure on your back. On the ground get on your hands and knees. You can have a pillow set up for your head and can also put one for your feet if you need to. What you are gonna do is keep your hands where they are and shift your weight back to sit on your heels. Then you can move your arms to each side to get a good stretch as well. Check out this youtube video for additional guidance: https://youtu.be/wjL0_5yaAZo

Where to go from here

For the most individualized plan to combat that low back pain. Come in to ProActive Physical Therapy and Wellness for a FREE Pregnancy/ Postpartum back pain visit to find what plan works best for YOU!

Brandon Evans

Brandon Evans

Dr. Brandon Evans is the Founder and Owner of ProActive Physical Therapy and Wellness. He received his bachelor's degree from Purdue University and his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Western Kentucky. Dr. Evans has vast experience in outpatient orthopedics, hospital physical therapy, health and wellness, and preventative medicine. Dr. Evans provides peace of mind, reassurance, and hope to people who have previously been told:
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