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At Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre, we can help ease your back and pelvis pain during Pregnancy

Pelvis and low back pain in pregnancy

Lumbar spine and pelvic girdle pain commonly affects roughly 50% or pregnant women. The severity and intensity of the pain vary between individuals and has the potential to have a negative impact on activities of daily living.

Symptoms often start around the 20th to the 28th week, however individual cases may vary.

The pain can occur for a number of reasons, including:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Postural changes
  • Separation of the abdominal muscles
  • Increased stress on the lower back

During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin (see below) is released which allows the soft tissue structures (such as; ligament and tendons) to relax preparing the body for a pregnancy (childbearing). When this occurs, it can target all areas allowing instability around the joints, which can lead to pain. As your baby grows, you change the way you move and carry yourself, due to changes in your centre of gravity. Consequently, this can cause additional stress and strain to joints in the pelvis and back.

The growth and development of your baby stretches the rectus abdominis and may cause these muscles to separate. This separation may increase as your baby continues to grow.

To help reduce and manage your symptoms both during and after your pregnancy, see your physiotherapist at Caboolture physical therapy for individualised assessment, treatment and advice.

Relaxin is a hormone produced by the ovary and the placenta with important effects in the female reproductive system and during pregnancy. In preparation for childbirth, it relaxes the ligaments in the pelvis and softens and widens the cervix.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre - serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.
Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis

What Are Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis?

One of the primary roles of the spine is to protect the spinal cord. This means that the spine needs to be strong while maintaining the flexibility required for a movable trunk. While the spine is very sturdy, spinal injuries do occur. Health professionals often use terms to describe and classify injuries of the body, two of these terms that you may have heard are Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis.

What are they?

Spondylolysis refers to a stress fracture of the pars interarticularis of the vertebra. This is the part of the vertebra that connects the body of the vertebra with the rest of the vertebra that surrounds the spinal cord. A separation of this fracture where the body of the vertebra is displaced forwards or backwards is called a spondylolisthesis.

Spondylolisthesis is a progression of spondylolysis and is given grades to classify its severity. Both spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis commonly affect the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae, found at the base of the lower back.

What are the causes?

Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis can be a result of trauma with the spine being moved forcefully into extension, particularly in younger people. Certain sports such as gymnastics, football and weightlifting require repetitive backward movements of the spine and this can eventually lead to a stress fracture of the pars interarticularis. Growth spurts in teens have also been known to be responsible for the development of these conditions.

In older adults, common causes of spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis are degenerative changes in the spine due to aging, osteoporosis, infection or even a tumour. Some people have a genetic vulnerability in this area of their spine making them more susceptible to developing spondylolysis and then spondylolisthesis.

What are the symptoms?

Many people with spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis may be asymptomatic, which means they perform their normal activities without experiencing any symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, common complaints are pain and tightness, much like a muscle strain, spreading across the lower back. This pain may be eased by bending forwards and aggravated by walking, running or leaning backwards.

In more progressive cases of spondylolisthesis, the shift of the vertebral body can cause narrowing of the spinal canal that can lead to nerve compression. This may cause hamstring tightness and even numbness and weakness of the lower limbs, affecting gait and daily activities.

How can physiotherapy help?

Your physiotherapist will work closely with you and any relevant medical professionals to determine exactly what is needed for your particular condition. Severe instability in the spine may require stabilization surgery, however this is rare and in most cases, symptoms of spondylolisthesis can be improved with regular physiotherapy management.

Physiotherapy that focuses on strengthening and improving the flexibility of both the lower back and the abdominal muscles has been shown to have positive effects on both pain and function for those with symptomatic spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis.

Speak to one of our physiotherapists for more information regarding your individual condition. The information in this article is not a replacement for medical advice.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre - serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.

Physio Tips: How to help your kids stay active

Research shows that many children today are struggling to meet their daily-recommended targets for physical activity. We know that inactivity is a risk factor for a multitude of chronic diseases and many of the habits that shape our adult lives are set in childhood.

Physical activity is important for a growing body as movement and weight bearing have a large impact on bone strength, muscle and tendon health. Here are some tips to make sure your child is staying as active as possible.

1. Find an activity that suits your child’s personality and abilities.

Children who are very coordinated and excel in competition may find team sports both increase their self-esteem as well as keep them fit. For other children, being a part of a team can cause embarrassment and they may say they dislike exercise, when in fact what they dislike is feeling like a failure and letting down the team.

These children may prefer a sport where success measured by improving their own performance, rather than being compared to other children. Surfing, yoga, martial arts, dancing or gymnastics may be activities that suit your child if competitive and team sports cause them to be discouraged.

2. Do get injuries checked out by a professional and invest in proper rehabilitation.

While children do bounce back quickly from injuries, they also may have difficulty expressing themselves and their worries when they have pain. A niggling pain that won’t go away may cause your child to say “I don’t like sport” rather than mentioning that they are in pain.

Some children may retain worries that they will hurt themselves again because of a previous injury and avoid exercise because they don’t feel completely confident.  Your physiotherapist can help to identify any issues that your child is having and help to resolve them.

3. Set fun and challenging goals for them to complete during their daily routine.

As fewer children are walking and riding to school, try to find ways to fit extra activities into the day. Have a daily long jump competition in the backyard at the same time each day or have bed making time trials. Have a routine before bed of age-appropriate exercises, such as star jumps, hopping, balancing and running on the spot. You can make this part of the night or morning ritual, just like brushing your teeth.

Talk to your physiotherapist for more tips on how to increase your child’s activity levels. Finding an activity that matches your child’s age level is key to keeping them engaged and active.

None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.

Caboolture Physical Therapy Centre - serving people in need from the following areas: Caboolture, Morayfield, Elimbah, Wamuran, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, Toorbul, Donnybrook, Ningi, Woodford, Kilcoy, Bribie Island, Goodwin Beach, Sandstone Point, Banksia Beach, Bongaree, Bellar, Woorim, Burpengary & Beachmere.