24 May, 2022
Pregnancy back pain continuing after birth
Lots of women experience back or pelvic pain during pregnancy! Research shows it's between 30-78% of pregnant women (Long et al. 2021).
Up to a quarter of women continue to experience this pain two-years after birth (Long et al. 2021)!
Who will experience prolonged pregnancy back pain .... even after birth?
So how do you know if you'll be in the quarter of women who experience prolonged back pain? Well we can't tell for sure but we know that persistent pain after birth is most common with (Long et al. 2021) (Goossens et al. 2021):
- Really flexible women, called generalised joint laxity or hypermobility
- Previous history of back pain whether from previous pregnancies or past injuries
- High physical demand - this might be lifting heavy people / objects or constantly being on the move
- Altered body's awareness
The good news is that we can treat low back pain, safely strengthen the body, improve body awareness and modify or reduce our physical demands during pre-conception, pregnancy and postpartum.
Can I do anything to prevent post-birth back pain during pregnancy?
Ideally you get treatment during your pregnancy to reduce your pain from the start, or whenever you get injured. Keeping your pain manageable will go a long way for your recovery. It'll help you to live life as normally as you can - as normal as it may be to get someone else to put your shoes on for you. Managing your pain will help keep your moving which builds strength, reduces tension and improves body awareness.
Your pregnancy trained chiropractor or osteopath can assess your movements, flexibility and body awareness to help predict whether your pain will persist after pregnancy. They'll be your personal cheerleader keeping you motivated and providing you with pregnancy-safe exercises as well as treatments.
I've given birth and I still have my pregnancy back pain - what can I do?
Get an assessment by your pregnancy-trained chiropractor or osteopath. They'll help establish a home exercise program and provide you with relieving treatments.
About the Author
Dr Cassie Atkinson-Quinton - Chiropractor, Doula, Women's Health Yoga & Pilates Instructor, Spinning Babies Lover
As a Chiropractor, Doula and perinatal Pilates & Yoga instructor, Dr Cassie loves to help pregnant women keep fit, healthy and comfortable. Knowing how empowering it felt to be fit and energetic during the pregnancy of her son inspires Cassie to want this for her patients. Cassie incorporates Spinning Babies, Yoga and Pilates exercises into her prenatal and postpartum Chiropractic sessions. She's currently studying her Graduate Certificate in Women's Health Medicine through the University of New South Wales.
Similar articles you'll enjoy:
- Goossens N, Geraerts I, Vandenplas L, Van Veldhoven Z, Asnong A, Janssens L. Body perception disturbances in women with pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain and their role in the persistence of pain postpartum. BMC pregnancy and childbirth. 2021 Dec;21(1):1-3.
- Long G, Yaoyao Z, Na Y, Ping Y, Mingsheng T. Generalized joint laxity as a predictor of recovering from low back pain during pregnancy–A prospective study. Journal of Orthopaedic Science. 2021 Mar 9.