Low Back Pain During Pregnancy and After Delivery

Pregnancy changes a woman’s body and low back pain is very common during pregnancy. Seeking treatment for problems that may arise as a result of pregnancy is important to reduce pain and dysfunction to enable you to be the healthiest mom you can be. A physiatrist is the medical specialist best suited to address these needs.

Studies Show:

  • More than 50% of women have low back pain during pregnancy
  • There are no correlations between low back pain and weight gain of the mother
  • No correlations with size of the baby and low back pain
  • Biggest predictor of low back pain during pregnancy is low back pain in a previous pregnancy
  • 10% of women with chronic low back pain report that their pain began during pregnancy

What you should know:

  • Not all health care providers are aware of treatment options during pregnancy
  • Low back pain can be disabling and can limit function after delivery
  • Specific treatment options are available for pain during pregnancy and after delivery

What you can do:

  • A physical medicine and rehabilitation physician (physiatrist) can provide education and treatment options for low back pain experienced during and after pregnancy
  • Treatment prescriptions may include:
    • Ice and heat
    • Bracing
    • Foot orthotics
    • Physical therapy specific to the needs of the changing body throughout pregnancy
    • Exercise to facilitate aerobic fitness without overloading the musculoskeletal system
    • Lessons on how to be safe performing the activities of daily life during pregnancy, labor, and childcare activities (such as lifting baby and car seats, breast feeding, etc.)

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