Pregnancy can result in low back or pelvic pain. Experts estimate that anywhere from 24% to 90% of women experience low back or pelvic-region pain when they are pregnant. Many women find that this pain goes away when the baby is born. However, more than a third of women still have pain 1 year after giving birth. Physiotherapy during and after pregnancy can help to decrease low back and pelvic pain. Common treatment options include education, exercise therapy, manual therapy, braces, or a combination of these treatments. Learning new ways to perform home and work activities as well as relaxation techniques can help ease the pain.
Studies have found that exercises can decrease pain, improve function and limit sick leave for pregnancy-related back and pelvic pain. Effective exercises often focus on strengthening the muscles around the spine and pelvic floor. Exercises can also include water aerobics, general strength training, endurance exercises and balance training. Finally, some research found that combining education, manual therapy and bracing can be helpful.
Your physical therapist can teach you the right exercises and explain how to alter the way you perform some activities to best reduce your pain. Your therapist can also help you decide whether other treatments, such as manual therapy or braces, might be helpful. After a thorough evaluation, your physical therapist will customise a treatment programme that will work best for you. Usually you can do the exercises at home.