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Lumbar (low back) pain during pregnancy is very normal and occurs in between 50 and 80% of women. Symptoms can be mild to acute, depending on specific activities, and have the potential to develop into a chronic situation. Current research demonstrates that lumbar pain with pregnancy happens between the fifth and seventh months, and may start as soon as week 8 to 12. Women with a history of low back problems before pregnancy have a greater risk of developing symptoms earlier than those with no previous reported issues. Posterior pelvic pain can also develop with pregnancy and occurs four times more often than lumbar pain.

Lumbar pain with pregnancy most often occurs in the middle of the back above the waistline, and at times can extend into the leg or foot. Symptoms are similar to those of women who are not pregnant and increase with long periods of standing, sitting, and repetitive lifting. Muscles along the spine can also be sensitive. Natural triggers of lumbar pain include:

  • Weight gain
  • Changes with center of gravity
  • Hormonal changes

Posterior pelvic pain is deep and experienced at the side of the waist and below. The sensation can also be felt across the tailbone and can occur one or both sides. Posterior pelvic pain starts or increases due to the following:

  • Stair climbing
  • Running and walking
  • Bending forward, lifting, or twisting
  • Rolling when in bed
  • Standing from a seated position

Conservative care for back pain is recommended during pregnancy and often consists of gentle exercise and training in the use of the use of appropriate body mechanics for activities of daily living. Physical therapy will address these areas, and may also incorporate mobilization, stabilization, and soft tissue manipulation. A home exercise program is often given help support an optimum level of function throughout the pregnancy.

If you are experiencing or pelvic pain with your pregnancy and would like information about care options, please contact our offices in Seguin or New Braunfels.

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