Now if you’re a lady with kids please tell me when did your chronic back pain start? Let me take a wild guess, it was either during or after child birth? For most of us that’s probably the real taste of back pain we get. Throw in feeding, picking up your tiny tot “n” number of times through the day, bending over, lifting and you’ve got a recipe for chronic back pain. In fact, it’s really a no brainer for someone who’s had caesarean or epidural, you definitely expect chronic back pain because you’ve been told that it’s a side effect. Now because we are such matyrs we think, oh she’ll be right. We look after our families and work but forget to look after ourselves and boom! it hits us until we can’t. It’s not completely on us though, there’s just not enough information on what to do to look after your weak pelvic floor muscles after pregnancy. You’re left with some pamphlets, 1 measly session with a physio if you’re lucky and that’s it. You’re on your own.

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How do pelvic floor muscles affect chronic back pain?

The pelvic floor muscles get stretched and pulled and (not to mention) even torn sometimes, when you give birth. They go through a lot during child birth and for weeks and months after. They are also the connection between your lower back and pelvic area. In fact the deepest muscles of our trunk work very closely with the pelvic floor to protect the back and prevent chronic back pain. With a weak pelvic floor, it’s easy to damage the back because of added stress to the core muscles that normally protect the back. So it’s absolutely important to train the pelvic floor muscles while recovering from chronic back pain. This is especially true for women post pregnancy and in the older age group.

What does chronic mean and why does back pain become chronic?

Chronic means a condition that has lasted over 3 months. So if you’ve been in pain for over 3 months, it’s now a chronic condition. But it’s not as easy as that. There are a lot of things that will add to this chronicity. Like mindset. It’s quite easy to get into a vicious cycle of less activity-stiffness -more pain because of lack of activity. And it is totally understandable as constant pain does affect your motivation and your mental health. Our job here is to break that cycle of pain and get you back to feeling like yourself again.

When to see a physio for chronic back pain and pelvic floor strengthening?

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The answer is yesterday!The longer you’re in pain, the longer your body has to make patterns and get stuck in them. As I said before we need to break that pattern and for that to happen you need to take the first step. Because health is really everything don’t you think? Once you’re pain free you can look after your family better. No? So first things first, if you back pain has not imrpoved as early as 4 weeks after child birth, you must get checked out. If you’re peeing in your pants while laughing or doing exercise, you need to see a physio. It’s not just the detailed assessment of your chronic back pain but also the hands on treatment that you’ll benefit from. You really do have to start pelvic floor exercises straight away and no better person to show you that than a physio. So make yourself the second priority (after your baby, of course) and get yourself to a physio. As Renee from Dauntless performance says ” You were somebody before you were a mum, and that person matters too!”

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