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.