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Pregnancy & Back Pain: Is there any Relief?

1/15/14 3:07 PM
50-70% of all pregnant women experience some type of back pain during their pregnancies. Back pain, lumbar and pelvic pain are all common complaints. An expectant mother's body is going through hormonal and postural changes, as well as a shift in the center of gravity - all of which contribute to these complaints. Anticipation and making room in homes, in life and in finances for that bundle of joy can be stressful. These increased levels of stress can also contribute to the aches & pains experienced.

Pregnancy-related back pain should also be taken seriously by mother-to-be and physician as there is potential for endangering mother and fetus if not handled appropriately. Luckily, low back pain usually resolves postpartum, but in the meantime there are some simple things to try to get some relief and enjoy the rest of the pregnancy. 

Reducing Pregnancy-Related Back Pain on your own...

  • Avoid sleeping on your back. Add in a pillow between your legs, and shift to sleeping on your left side. This will help alleviate low back symptoms and ensure the baby and the placenta is receiving the most blood flow.
  • Elevate your feet whenever possible. Getting plenty of rest and elevating your feet will help to reduce swelling and low back symptoms. 
  • Shoes, shoes, shoes. Choosing footwear with adequate support can work wonders for reducing low back pain. Avoid high heels during pregnancy as they exaggerate postural changes that are contributing to your back pain.
  • Wear a support brace. There are various types of abdominal support braces available for expectant mothers. These are sometimes called Sacro-Iliac Joint Belts or a prenatal cradle. A Physical Therapist can help you choose one appropriate for your symptoms, and issue one to you as well.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

  • A Physical Therapist can instruct an expectant mother on ways to relieve pressure from the low back.
  • While each stage of pregnancy is different, a Physical Therapist can guide you through specific exercises tailored to each stage. They can also help to accommodate pregnancy complications if needed.
  • Pain relief. A PT can help to relieve aches and pains through various manual therapy techniques. Many women also find relief from their pregnancy-related aches and pains with Aquatic Therapy.
  • Strengthening. A PT can instruct you on strengthening exercises to prepare for labor and delivery.



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Still wanting some advice? Ask one of our therapists a specific question or request a Free 15 Minute Screening below.


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Written by the Physical Therapists of Onondaga Physical Therapy. Our therapists provide one-on-one care to patients in Central New York. 

Conveniently located in:
Onondaga Hill Proudly serves Syracuse, Onondaga Hill, Marcellus and Camillus. Located one turn off of West Seneca Turnpike, about a half of a mile away from the Onondaga Community College campus

Baldwinsville Proudly serves Baldwinsville, Radisson, Clay, Liverpool and North Syracuse Located on Genesee Street, in the brick plaza behind the Kinney Drugs - across the street from the B'ville Diner

Cicero Proudly serves Cicero, Clay, Liverpool and North Syracuse. Located inside the Champions Fitness Center on Frontage Road, in the plaza with Ollie's & Cici's Pizza. 

Liverpool Proudly serves Liverpool, North Syracuse, Clay, Bayberry. Located inside the Pacific Health Club on Old Liverpool Road, just minutes from the city of Syracuse as well as downtown Liverpool. Easily accessible from 690, I-81 and 370 or the Onondaga Lake Parkway.

Aquatic Therapy is available in our Cicero, Liverpool and Onondaga Hill locations. Contact us...a member of our staff will be happy to answer any questions you might have!


Topics: Low back pain, pain, pregnancy, sciatica