Avoid low back pain during pregnancy

Bottom Line:
Low Back Pain during pregnancy is quite common. It causes hardship in this population who would normally be able to keep up with responsibilities of daily life. Almost 30% of pregnant women report that they quit performing at least one daily activity because it caused pain while performing other daily tasks.  It was also found that only 32% of pregnant women with low back pain reported this problem to their care provider. In fact it is so common that money is spent on research to determine the prevalence and find likely causes. 

Why it Matters:
There is a high prevalence of low back pain, 70% or more in one’s lifetime. That means that most people are going to experience this at some point in time.  Pregnancy is difficult enough without another condition that makes it unbearable.  Luckily current research has found 4 key factors that may increase the risk of experiencing low back pain during pregnancy.

  • A history of low back pain before pregnancy
  • Increase pre-pregnancy BMI
  • Depression during pregnancy
  • Heavy workload during pregnancy

A history of lower back pain DOUBLES the risk of developing pregnancy-related low back pain

Pregnancy-related back pain typically starts between the fifth and seventh months.

40% of women who experience pregnancy-related low backc pain continue to suffer for SIX MONTHS after delivery and up to 20% report pain THREE YEARS LATER.

Almost 75% of women undergoing chiropractic manipulation report significant PAIN REDUCTION and clinically significant IMPROVEMENTS in DISABILITY.

Ongoing EXERCISE during pregnancy decreases one’s risk of excessive weight gain, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, and pre-term birth.  Women SHOULD NOT begin vigorous exercise during pregnancy. Health women may begin or continue MODERATE INTENSITY aerobic exercise.

Next Steps:
Prior to, or just as you find out you are making an addition to the family, seek care if you have any concerns about prior low back pain.  Also if you find that you are pregnant, we recommend that you consult with your doctor.  If you are wondering what kind of activities that you should include in an exercise program, we would be happy to help.  Remember that there are alternatives to dealing with back pain that we mentioned above, and the conservative care that we provide in our clinic is safe and effective.

Science Source:

Borggren, C., 2007. Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 6(2), pp.70-74.

Liddle, S. and Pennick, V., 2015. Interventions for preventing and treating low-back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,.

Wiezer, M., Hage-Fransen, M., Otto, A., Wieffer-Platvoet, M., Slotman, M., Nijhuis-van der Sanden, M. and Pool-Goudzwaard, A., 2020. Risk factors for pelvic girdle pain postpartum and pregnancy related low back pain postpartum; a systematic review and meta-analysis. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, 48, p.102154.

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