Most women develop some degree of musculoskeletal pain in pregnancy. Some causes are unique to pregnancy, while others are pre-existing conditions, such as previous back pain or rheumatoid arthritis, which may be modified or enhanced by pregnancy. Please see below a list of common pregnancy conditions that we treat at Mike Varney Physiotherapy:
Lower Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common problems during pregnancy. As the baby grows so does the uterus, this alters your centre of gravity which creates a more forward posture. In turn your lower back curves more than usual resulting in strained muscles, stiffness and pain in the lower back.
Sciatica is a term referring to the altered sensation down the back of the legs and into the calf. Symptoms can consist of pins and needles, numbness, cramp or pain. During pregnancy weight gain, expansion of the uterus and increased fluid retention can put pressure on the nerve where it passes through the pelvis, compressing it. When the baby starts to shift in the third trimester, the head can rest directly on the nerve causing pain in the buttock which can refer down the legs.
SPD (Pelvic Girdle Pain)
During pregnancy a hormone called relaxin loosens the ligaments in the pelvis causing the pelvic bones to lose some of their stability and become misaligned. The main symptom is usually pain or discomfort in the pelvic region. This will probably be centred on the joint at the front of the pelvis (the pubic symphysis). It is also common to hear a cracking or popping sensation in the lower back, hip or sacroiliac joint during walking or changing position.
If you would like more information on what we can offer you in your pregnancy, please contact us or visit our News and Advice blog pages.
The sacroiliac (SI) joints are formed by the connection of the sacrum and the right and left iliac bones. During pregnancy, hormones are released into the body, allowing ligaments to relax. This prepares the body for childbirth. Relaxation of the ligaments holding the SI joints together allows for increased motion in the joints and can lead to increased stresses and abnormal wear. The additional weight and walking pattern associated with pregnancy also places additional stress on the SI joints.