Did you know that according to a research article publised in the National Library of Medicine about 50% of women suffer from back pain in pregnancy? For some women it can even be accompanied with pelvic pain unfortunately and it drastically affects their day to day activities. Yes you may have heard your doctors say, you need to keep active and eat healthy etc….during pregnancy. But being active can have different meanings for different people. So it’s important to understand that as a physiotherapist who’s passionate about helping women recover from back pain in pregnancy or even after, I advise specific exercises that focus on the muscles that support the back. The reason for back pain in pregnancy is the tremendous pressure that  goes through the joints and muscles of the lower back due to the growing baby. And the only way our backs are going to be able to withstand that pressure is by doing specific strengthening exercises but also flexibility exercises to keep the muscles mobile. It goes without saying that these exercises are only general in nature and it’ll be more beneficial for you to see a physiotherapist if you are suffering from back pain in pregnancy to get a more tailored program. Here are 3 effective and safe exercises for back pain in pregnancy.

Cat and cow!Simplest exercise for back pain in pregnancy

exercise for back pain in pregnancy

Here’s one simple exercise that you can do throughout your pregnancy whether you have back pain or not. It’s a great felxibility exercise for the pelvic and the lower back area, pretty much the areas that bear the maximum brunt of the pregnancy. Usually this exercise is tolerated very well because it feels so relieving . It’s about coming up on your hands and knees and making sure that you’re nice and square. The position is important. Place your hands right under the shoulders and knees right under the hips. Now it’s a matter of arching your back and lowering it in order to make a hump and a curve in your back. You’re welcome to hold each position for about 5-10 seconds before moving to the next. This is an effective exercise for back pain in pregnancy.

All 4’s balancing

exercise for back pain in pregnancy

This is a core strengthening exercise for sure because you’ll feel your tummy muscles work as soon your arms and legs go up in the air! It’s all about balancing and trying to maintain a straight spine. So the position remains the same as the above exercise. The enxt step is to slowly extend one arm and the opposite leg a few inches of the bed while not twisting from your back or putting more pressure on the leg that’s on the floor. You may want to start slow here and try with just extending the legs first, one at a time. Hold the position for 5 -10 seconds and repeat! The key here is to maintain a slight curve in the lower back and not let your spine flatten or twist. This again a great exercise if you have back pain in pregnancy.

Exercise for back pain in pregnancy no: 3: Clams!

clams for back pain in pregnancy

We are going to change position here and lie on your side so that the knees are bent but still in line with your hips. Now you need to press the heels together and lift the top knee away without twisting your back. Remember the movement is only happening at the hip so if you’re feeling something in your back, you’re not doing it correctly. You should only feel this movement on the outside part of your buttock muscle. With back pain in pregnancy, the buttock muscles tend to become quite tight because of overuse. Tight muscles can become weak as well. So it’s important to strengthen these muscles. A simple progression would be to use a band across the thighs so you feel the resistance.

It’s important to remember that exercises will not take away your pain. So if you do suffer from back pain in pregnancy , it’s important to get Physiotherapy to get rid of the pain and then  exercises will help to strengthen the muscles to prevent reoccurence of pain.