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During the course of pregnancy, your body will change and adapt in order to accommodate for the extra weight that your body will be carrying. You may experience changes to not only your stomach as your pregnancy progresses but also to your posture and your feet. These changes and the aches associated with them are normal. Becoming aware of how your body will change at each stage of your pregnancy will help you to cope and deal with pregnancy pain.
Back pain in pregnancy is very common. It is caused due to the increased pressure being placed on your spine. The extra weight gained during pregnancy is distributed around the stomach causing your centre of gravity to tilt forward. Women will often compensate for this by leaning backwards. Doing so can lead to lower pain and will also alter your posture.
Pelvic girdle pain is caused by the misalignment or stiffness of the pelvic joints at either the front or back of your pelvis. During pregnancy your body releases a hormone that causes your joints to loosen in preparation for giving birth. This means that your joints are more unstable leading to dysfunction of the joints of your pelvic and increased pain. This pain can be experienced as the first trimester of pregnancy but is most notable in the final trimester.
Leg cramps are another common pain for pregnant women to experience. It is still unsure exactly why these are caused but studies suggest it could be because of pregnancy weight and the compression of blood vessels in the legs due to the expansion of the uterus. Most women experience leg cramps at night while in bed.
Keeping active while pregnant can help to alleviate pains and aches. Light exercise is recommended during pregnancy as it helps to energise your body and ease pain. Pilates, yoga and swimming are all considered very beneficial to expectant mothers. These low impact activities are safe for the baby and will ease the pressure being placed on the back and pelvis. The stretching exercises involved in these activities will also help to ease any pain caused by leg cramps.
Wearing the correct footwear can also play a major role in reducing pregnancy aches. If your shoes are too high they will put extra stress on the lower back. So, make sure that your shoes have a low heel and provide good support and shock absorbency.
When dealing with back pain, it is important to ensure that you keep an eye on your posture. Physiotherapy techniques such as dry needling, massage, trigger point release are safe and effective ways of managing pregnancy related problems. Wearing a compression belt around your pelvis may also be appropriate to compensation for increased ligament laxity.
Here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic, we will provide you with advice on the best exercises and techniques to help you relieve any pain or discomfort. If you have any questions regarding pregnancy pain or wish to book an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us here.