Pregnancy/ Postpartum-related back pain: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Airrosti’s Brooke Green, DC, discusses some of the common causes of prenatal and postpartum low back and hip pain. Find out how hormonal changes within the body can affect joint health during pregnancy and learn how different treatment methods approach pregnancy-related pain.

Back pain during pregnancy can range from mild pain associated with specific activities to more acute or chronic pain that persists throughout the day. Pain most often occurs between the fifth and seventh month of pregnancy; however, low back pain can begin as early as 8 to 12 weeks after becoming pregnant and continue after delivery.

CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS OF BACK PAIN DURING PREGNANCY

Pregnancy Back Pain

Two common types of back pain related to pregnancy include: lumbar (low back) pain and posterior pelvic (hip) pain. Both conditions may be caused by several factors related to changes that naturally occur in your body while pregnant. Weight fluctuations, posture, changes in musculoskeletal structure, fatigue, and hormonal changes are all potential triggers of back pain during pregnancy.

Pregnancy-related low back and hip pain can be brought on or worsened by certain activities, such as rolling in bed, climbing stairs, sitting down, rising from a seated position, and bending forward.

LUMBAR/LOW BACK PAIN

Lumbar pain during pregnancy is generally located at and above the waist in the center of the back. This condition often worsens when bending, lifting, and sitting or standing for extended periods. Tenderness may also be present in the muscles along the spine during pregnancy.

POSTERIOR PELVIC PAIN

Posterior pelvic pain is often felt deep within the hips and waistline. Pregnancy pelvic pain may be experienced on one or both sides. It can extend down into the buttock and upper portion of the back of the thighs. This type of pain may not resolve itself with rest, and morning stiffness may be present.

Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction

Chronic pelvic and low back pain during pregnancy can also be a sign of Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction. This condition occurs when your pelvic joints become unbalanced, causing pelvic stiffness and pain.

Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction occurs frequently in pregnant women. While it is not medically harmful to your baby, it can leave you in severe chronic pain and affect your mobility.

Labor Pain During Pregnancy

It is important to note that labor pain is a different type of pain. It is like an intense menstrual cramp and has the following characteristics: the pain is persistent, it increases in intensity and frequency over a short period of time, it is not affected by your level of activity. This is not the pregnancy-related low back/pelvic pain Airrosti can have an impact on.

TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR BACK PAIN DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY

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Any pregnancy-related pain that lasts longer than six to eight weeks should be treated to avoid chronic back pain or recurring back problems. Chronic lower back pain during pregnancy that lasts for weeks to months is a common predictor for postpartum back pain. For this reason, pregnant women are often encouraged to seek appropriate back pain treatment during pregnancy.

Traditionally, pregnant women suffering from back pain had few treatment options due to the significant risks involved with common treatment options like pharmaceuticals, injections, and imaging tests. Most available options involve only partial and temporary relief from the pain, including ice or heat, braces or support devices, some medications to treat inflammation, massage, adjusting sleeping patterns, or making major lifestyle adjustments.

HOW AIRROSTI CAN HELP: DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT, AND PAIN RELIEF FOR PRENATAL AND POSTNATAL BACK PAIN

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Airrosti offers a noninvasive and highly effective treatment for low back and hip pain. Our providers spend significant one-on-one time with every patient to thoroughly diagnose and design a treatment plan to help resolve pain at the source. We combine hands-on manual therapy with an individualized active rehab exercise plan to help improve soft tissue and joint strength, mobility, and stability.

We also provide tools and resources you can use from the comfort of home to speed your recovery and minimize the risk of future injuries. The Airrosti treatment process is designed to significantly reduce or eliminate pain at the source, often in as few as three visits (based on patient-reported outcomes.)

If you or someone you know has been struggling with pregnancy-related hip or low back pain and need some relief, schedule an appointment with an Airrosti provider today. To learn more about treatment with Airrosti, click here or give us a call at (800) 404-6050. We offer both in-office and virtual appointments to best suit your needs.

*Disclaimer: While some discomfort during pregnancy is normal, periods of prolonged or intense pain could be a sign of an underlying condition. It’s important to maintain open communication with your doctor and health care team about what activities you can reasonably do during and after pregnancy to help minimize any potential risks.

All Airrosti treatment provided during pregnancy is co-managed with your prenatal care provider. Your Airrosti Provider will work closely with your prenatal care provider to ensure you receive the best, most comprehensive care during your pregnancy.

Reviewed by Mikel Richter, Doctor of Chiropractic

Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.

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