Pain During Pregnancy | Physit07 Aug 2019

Are you pregnant and suffering from aches, pains or cramps?

During pregnancy back pain is the most common complaint while other complaints are, lower and and upper limb pain, muscle cramps and neuropathies (nerve disruption causing, tingling, unusual sensations, numbness or pain). 50% of women suffer from lower back pain or pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy and 25% continue to have pain 1 year after delivery.

Pregnant women may experience a disruption in their sleep patterns, social and sexual life, work capacity and an increase in psychological stress, and it is therefore unsurprising that pregnant women suffering from lower back pain or pelvic girdle pain are less likely to exercise regularly during pregnancy.

Reasons for higher prevalence of back pain during pregnancy:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Increased joint mobility due to hormonal changes on collagen
  3. Weight gain
  4. Pressure of foetus
  5. Increased load on the spine and a change in posture

Lower back and pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy is debilitating and often associated with disability, reduced quality of life and a higher prevalence of sick leave. Exercise has been shown to decrease symptom severity when initiated prenatally and less effect when initiated during pregnancy.

Exercise has been shown to be effective in helping fitness, overall wellbeing and decreasing the risk of developing pregnancy related complications. Hands on manual therapy can help those in pain and worried about exercising. We will do an assessment followed by an individualised treatment which will give you the confidence to move before advising exercises to further help decrease your pain and improve your symptoms.

Manual therapy and exercise can offer a cost effective, self-management option for expectant mothers as part of a multimodal approach to decreasing your symptom severity.

Davenport MH, Marchand A, Mottola MF, et al. (2019) Exercise for the prevention and treatment of low back, pelvic girdle and lumbopelvic pain during pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis British Journal of Sports Medicine 53 pp.90-98.

References

Kesikburun, S., Güzelküçük, Ü., Fidan, U., Demir, Y., Ergün, A. and Tan, A. (2018). Musculoskeletal pain and symptoms in pregnancy: a descriptive study. Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease, 10(12), pp.229-234.

Mottola, M., Davenport, M., Ruchat, S., Davies, G., Poitras, V., Gray, C., Jaramillo Garcia, A., Barrowman, N., Adamo, K., Duggan, M., Barakat, R., Chilibeck, P., Fleming, K., Forte, M., Korolnek, J., Nagpal, T., Slater, L., Stirling, D. and Zehr, L. (2018). No. 367-2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity throughout Pregnancy. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 40(11), pp.1528-1537.

Shiri, R., Coggon, D. and Falah-Hassani, K. (2017). Exercise for the prevention of low back and pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. European Journal of Pain, 22(1), pp.19-27.

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